Summit Co. crash victim to survive with broken neck, fractured skull |

Summit Co. crash victim to survive with broken neck, fractured skull

Robert Allen
Summit County, CO Colorado

DILLON – The man apparently driving a white Ford Excursion in a three-car accident Friday is to face six charges including drunken driving, and felony hit and run causing serious bodily injury.

“It was a pretty horrific scene,” said witness Eric Bell of Denver. “We totally saw the cars just go to pieces – basically just exploded and pieces were everywhere.”

Juan Valle-Esparza, 22, of Keystone, was in the leftbound lane of Highway 6 westbound as he turned to make a left turn on Lake Dillon Drive. He allegedly turned in front of a BMW sedan traveling eastbound, which drove into a Dodge Durango that struck a light pole, according to Dillon Police Sgt. Bo Schlunsen.

The driver of the BMW survived but was hospitalized with a broken neck and fractured skull. The other drivers involved in the crash were OK.

Bell was in a vehicle directly behind the crash. He said that after the crash “the gentleman in the Ford did a quick U-turn and took off down Dillon Valley east.”

Bell called 911 and followed the Ford to Straight Creek Drive, where the vehicle parked in front of a building before turning around to leave.

“I jumped in front of him and said, ‘You aren’t going anywhere,'” Bell said. “I think he was just confused.”

Schlunsen said deputies with Summit County Sheriff’s Office came and arrested Valle-Esparza “just as he was stepping out of the car.”

Valle-Esparza faces felony hit and run causing serious bodily injury and felony vehicular assault. Other charges drunken driving, careless driving, improper left turn and no valid driver’s license.

Robert Allen can be contacted at (970) 668-4628 or

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