Police: Unlicensed driver lucky to survive crash near Basalt
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
BASALT, Colorado ” A 15-year-old driver and her 19-year-old passenger were lucky to escape injury in a bizarre accident outside of Basalt on Monday afternoon, the investigating police officer said.
The juvenile was driving her male friend’s 1999 Honda Accord downvalley on Highway 82 when she claimed she encountered difficulties with the brakes while coming up on traffic. She went into the turning lane while approaching the intersection with Two Rivers Road, saw a dumptruck, swerved left and fishtailed, according to Basalt police officer Mike Taylor.
In the process of fishtailing, the car swung around to the right and managed to hit the front passenger side of the dumptruck, which was waiting to turn onto Highway 82 from Two Rivers Road.
The impact sent the Accord airborne, spinning it 180 degrees. It came to a rest pointed upvalley. Neither occupant of the Accord was wearing a seatbelt but the airbags deployed.
“I was scratching my head the whole time trying to figure out how they weren’t injured,” Taylor said.
It also was baffling that the car swung around in a way to strike the dumptruck on the passenger’s side, he said. Witnesses said the car was traveling at a high rate of speed immediately prior to the crash, Taylor said.
Neither the driver nor the passenger of the dumptruck were injured.
The 19-year-old passenger of the Accord had recently purchased the vehicle. His friend convinced him to let her drive although she didn’t have a license, Taylor said. The juvenile girl, whose name wasn’t released per department policy, will likely be charged with driving without a license, careless driving and leaving the scene of an accident, according to Taylor.
The girl fled the scene and hid in a clump of trees near the Roaring Fork River. Basalt Police Chief Keith Ikeda said the girl emerged while he and a community safety officer were walking nearby.
Traffic was slowed but continued to flow through the intersection. The accident occurred at about 2:30 p.m.