Fruita man may face vehicular assault charge
A 20-year-old Fruita man who witnesses said sped through a sharp turn and drove on the wrong side of the road before flipping the truck he was in, injuring him and his two passengers, has been arrested and could be charged with a felony.
Justin T. Delancey, who was allegedly speeding southbound on 16 Road on Sept. 3 from the desert when he wrecked just south of the sharp “S” turn, was taken into custody Friday and is facing a count of vehicular assault.
A woman who was riding in the truck, Samantha Gallegos, was hospitalized by ambulance, where a doctor told investigators she had sustained serious bodily injury.
“Several factors in this case prove that Delancey drove in such a wanton and willful manner that (he) put himself and his passengers’ safety at risk,” a Colorado State Patrol trooper wrote in an affidavit for Delancey’s arrest, noting that he did not have a valid Colorado driver’s license at the time. “Delancey’s reckless driving immediately before the crash is the only causal factor for the crash.”
One of the truck’s passengers, 19-year-old Alex Warren, told the trooper that “the steering wheel locked up,” causing the wreck.
Witnesses, however, described seeing the truck speeding south on 16 Road. One woman who said the truck was going “way too fast” indicated the truck lost control and overcorrected before going off the road and flipping.
Another woman said she saw the truck driving in the wrong lane across the canal bridge before losing control. Yet another witness said she thought Delancey was driving more than 65 mph.
A friend of Delancey’s who was driving behind him on 16 Road said the 20-year-old was “blowing her out of the water” before the crash. She said she thought Delancey was driving 45 or 50 mph at the bridge through the sharp turn, where speed limits are posted at 10 mph, an arrest report said.
Delancey, who was hospitalized by CareFlight helicopter, told a trooper on scene he didn’t remember anything from the wreck, the report said. A week later he said the only thing he remembered was pulling Warren and Gallegos from the truck, the report said.
The trooper who investigated the wreck found no malfunction with the truck, according to the affidavit.
Delancey appeared before Mesa County Judge Craig Henderson Monday to be advised of his charges. Henderson released him on a personal-recognizance bond and ordered him to return to court Sept. 26.