Man dies in bizarre crash

Residents narrowly
 avoid being badly hurt

Grand Junction police inspect the damage to a house at 1925 Bunting Ave. on Friday afternoon after a truck barreled north from the Village Inn parking lot, through the house, across Bunting Avenue and into a garage while dragging a couch from the house. Remnants of the couch, where residents of the home had been sitting just minutes before the crash, are seen scattered across the street. The coroner said the death of Stanley Sanders, the driver of the truck, was due to natural causes, though he revealed no other medical information.

A tow truck driver tries to remove pieces of a couch from under the truck that ran through a house at 1925 Bunting Ave. on Friday. The occupants of the home had been sitting on the couch just moments before a truck crashed through the home.

Caleb Ramsey got off the couch, and by doing so, saved his life Friday.

The night before, the responsible ending to a night of adult beverages meant leaving his pickup truck behind at his brother’s home off D and 30 1/2 roads.

“We’d been sitting here (at 1925 Bunting Ave.) all day and decided to go get my truck,” Ramsey said Friday. “We were sitting on that couch.”

Ramsey said he had just arrived at his brother’s place — maybe five to 10 minutes after getting up off his couch — when he took a phone call from another roommate who’d just returned to their rental home minutes after Ramsey had left.

“He said someone drove through our house and it’s ruined,” Ramsey said, gesturing repeatedly to the mangled leftovers of a couch scattered 50 feet north of a gaping hole in front of 1925 Bunting. “I’ve always believed in God but it was strengthened today.”

Grand Junction police said a 1986 Ford pickup truck inexplicably lurched north from the parking lot of Village Inn, 1910 North Ave., crashed through the backyard fence and through Ramsey’s home before it crossed the street and hit the side of 1940 Bunting Ave.

Initially called out at 1:25 p.m., Grand Junction officer Chip McIntyre said the first officer at the scene attempted CPR on the male driver before the man was pronounced dead. A woman who was riding in the passenger seat was unharmed.

The woman told officers they’d just left Village Inn and got into the truck when the incident happened, McIntyre said.

McIntyre said there was no obvious sign of impairment on the part of the driver, identified by the Mesa County Coroner’s Office as 55-year-old Stanley Sanders of Grand Junction. The coroner further called Sanders’ manner of death “natural,” without revealing any additional medical information.

James Sharp, who lives at 1935 Bunting Ave. next to the wrecked home, said he was watching TV when he heard “thunder” that shook his home. He ran to the front door and saw the truck, with sections of a couch still lodged underneath it, rolling north across Bunting and into another home.

Sharp called 911 and checked the damage next door. It was empty.

A trail of drywall, empty 12-pack beer boxes, a stuffed animal, a hoodie, a spring and other parts that used to be Ramsey’s ill-fated couch ran from the front of the house after the accident.

“Someone died today,” Ramsey said. “I feel terrible for him.”


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