Kansas man gets eight years in prison following 100-mph chase through Vail Valley
Casey Lonesk was almost triple the DUI limit when he caused near-fatal hit-and-run on I-70
EAGLE — A Kansas man was sentenced to eight years in prison Wednesday for a drunken driving spree that flipped one car off I-70 and into an irrigation ditch, and clipped another.
At the time of the crashes, Casey Edward Lonesk’s blood alcohol content was .237, almost three times the legal limit, Assistant District Attorney Heidi McCollum said in announcing the sentence Wednesday afternoon. The two people in the flipped car were seriously injured.
Lonesk, 42, of Roeland Park, Kansas, was sentenced for four felonies: two counts of vehicular assault, and two counts of leaving the scene of an accident. He’ll also do three years of parole when he’s released from prison.
“Reckless endangerment of ordinary people in our community going about their daily lives, is inexcusable, and I am glad he will be taken off the road and put in a place where he can get help before he kills somebody,” McCollum said.
On July 20, 2019, witnesses reported Lonesk driving west on I-70 on Vail Pass at speeds of 100 mph. Lonesk’s escapade ended in a crash 30 miles further west.
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But before he crashed, Lonesk clipped one vehicle from behind and, when he reached Wolcott, he caused another vehicle to roll over the embankment from the interstate highway and onto Highway 6, turning over several times. That vehicle finally came to rest in an irrigation ditch near the Eagle River.
The crashed car, partially submerged in irrigation water, caught fire. Witnesses and first responders pulled the innocent victims to safety, who were transported to Vail Health Hospital for treatment.
Lonesk fled the scene, but Colorado State Patrol troopers quickly caught him and confronted him in his damaged, stalled truck. He was arrested and, after refusing to perform roadside maneuvers for suspected intoxication, taken to Vail Health. His blood test found his blood alcohol content was .237, almost three times Colorado’s legal limit of .08.
The two crash victims both suffered multiple injuries: rib fractures, lacerations, contusions and abrasions. Although both were released from the hospital after a few days, they’re still healing months after the accident, McCollum said.
“The lasting physical and emotional impact this has had on these victims is a hardship they never should have been subjected to,” McCollum said. “Although these two victims are alive today, the repeated actions of this very dangerous man caused considerable damage and put many peoples’ lives at risk,” McCollum said.
Lonesk pleaded guilty Dec. 11, 2019, to the four felonies. Lonesk also pleaded guilty to a felony bond violation for Driving Under Restraint from an incident just last week in Eagle.
Lonesk has two previous DUIs, one from Kansas in 2008, and one from Park County, Colorado, in 2018.