Craig teen 'miraculously' survives two-car accident


State police officers are still amazed that a teen involved in a potentially deadly crash Sunday walked away without a scratch.

Chelsea Schuckenberg, 15, was driving a 2001 Dodge pickup and was attempting to cross over U.S. Highway 40 near mile marker 97 when she was struck by a 1997 Toyota Landcruiser driven by Diane Felker, 43, of Englewood.

"This was a very serious accident there was a lot of energy in this accident," Colorado State Trooper Brad Keadle said. "It's unbelievable that no one was killed.

"The trooper who handled the accident, Brian Bagley, said to me 'This is one you should have seen. It's a miracle no one was killed. It stunned everyone involved that no one was hurt."

According to a State Patrol report, Felker was traveling eastbound on Highway 40 at 65 mph when Schuckenberg pulled out in front of her. Felker's Toyota rammed into the passenger side of the full-sized Dodge pickup.

The report said Felker suffered scrapes and soreness in her wrists and forearms from the Toyota's driver-side airbag deploying. Schuckenberg, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was unharmed. The airbags in Schuckenberg's Dodge did not deploy.

Schuckenberg was issued a citation for failing to yield the right of way on a highway and violation of the restrictions of a driving permit.

Schuckenberg was alone in the Dodge pickup, police said. Her driving permit dictated that she needed to be accompanied by a licensed driver when operating a vehicle.

Keadle said the only reason he could see for Schuckenberg's miraculous lack of injury was the size of the vehicles involved Schuckenberg's Dodge pickup absorbed the brunt of the impact.

"Usually, with a T-bone accident, at 65 mph, someone is seriously hurt or even killed," he said.

This accident, like most crashes, could have been easily avoided, Keadle said.

"[Schuckenberg] apparently didn't see [Felker] coming and pulled out in front of her," he said. "Most of the time, accidents are avoidable it just comes down to people making driving a full-time job. Drivers are not paying attention, they're being inattentive to driving their cars. There are so many things in our lives today that people let distract them from driving cell phones, friends, kids. Most accidents wouldn't happen if people paid attention to their driving."

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