2 hurt as car careens off cliff
One man was jailed and two passengers in his car were critically injured after an alleged alcohol-fueled joyride Tuesday ended in a crash in Colorado National Monument, according to the Colorado State Patrol.
Timothy Tyler, 21, was booked Tuesday morning at the Mesa County Jail on suspicion of two counts of vehicular assault while driving under the influence of alcohol, two counts of reckless driving causing injury, DUI, displaying fictitious license plates, and driving on a suspended license.
Tyler was the driver of a 1998 Honda Civic two-door that careened off the right side of the road, down a nearly 60-foot embankment, after the car had ascended less than a mile from the east entrance of the monument, just past the lower Serpents Trail trail head, State Patrol Sgt. Scott Simons said.
Troopers were notified of the crash around 3:18 a.m. Simons said one of the occupants had a cellphone, which was used to call 911.
One of the occupants had to be extricated from the wreck.
Aside from alcohol, Simons said tire marks in the roadway suggest speed as a possible factor. The car left the right side of a section snaking into a left curve, he said.
A 19-year-old woman who was a front-seat passenger suffered minor injuries and was released shortly after being hospitalized, Simons said.
A woman, 20, riding in the back seat suffered a broken back, broken neck, collapsed lung and broken ribs, Simons said. The trooper described her condition as critical, although she was not sent to St. Mary’s Hospital’s intensive care unit when admitted at the hospital.
A man, 25, who was also in the back seat suffered a broken neck. Simons described his condition as serious. Back-seat passengers were not wearing seatbelts, the trooper said.
Statements from two occupants indicated the foursome had been drinking at a friend’s home in Fruitvale before they decided to take a drive in the monument with no particular destination in mind, according to Simons. Alcohol containers were not found inside the wrecked Honda, he said.