Charges filed in Maroon Creek crash involving 5 Aspen teen
November 29, 2018
ASPEN — A Tesla sport utility vehicle with five local teens inside skidded, flew through the air and tumbled nearly 300 feet earlier this month before landing in Maroon Creek, according to a Colorado State Patrol report released Wednesday.
The 18-year-old driver of the SUV — Joseph Lipsey IV of Aspen — now faces two misdemeanor charges of careless driving that caused bodily injury and driving without a valid license in connection with the crash, which caused varying degrees of injuries to the five teens inside, according to court documents.
According to an investigation by a Colorado State Patrol trooper, the 2017 Tesla X was traveling north on Maroon Creek Road at about 75 mph near the T-Lazy 7 Ranch around 7:55 p.m. Nov. 7. Just before the road makes a turn to the west, the SUV lost control and began to rotate, then slid for 37.1 feet on the road before leaving the right side of the road for another 27.8 feet, then went airborne for 41.1 feet, the report states.
The SUV’s front end then struck a tree and continued another 172.1 feet down an embankment — overturning two times in the process — before coming to rest on its tires facing east in Maroon Creek, according to the report.
The trooper cited excessive speed and aggressive driving as contributing factors to the crash, the report states.
A call to Lipsey on Wednesday seeking comment was not returned.
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The mother of one of the teens inside the car said last week that her daughter, who was sitting in the backseat behind Lipsey, is continuing to recover from the crash.
“The police at the emergency room said they haven’t seen an accident like that when people walked away,” said Elana Royer, mother of 18-year-old Lily Royer. “They’re almost always fatal.”
Lily Royer suffered a broken arm, broken ribs and a head injury and had not yet returned to school as of last week. An 18-year-old man sitting next to her in the middle of the backseat received mirror-image injuries, she said.
“None of the kids remember anything,” Elana Royer said.