Man charged with reckless driving after head-on collision closes Highway 40 |

Man charged with reckless driving after head-on collision closes Highway 40

West Routt Fire Protection District firefighters respond to a head-on collision in the Mount Harris Canyon near Hayden on Tuesday night. One driver has been charged with reckless driving.
West Routt Fire Protection District/Courtesy Photo

A head-on collision in Mount Harris Canyon near Hayden on Tuesday night sent one Steamboat Springs man to the hospital and closed U.S. Highway 40 for almost an hour. 

Colorado State Patrol later charged the same man, 27-year-old Kyle Cheetham, with reckless driving, according to Trooper Brian McCormick, who investigated the crash. 

As McCormick described, Cheetham was speeding west in a Toyota 4Runner when he failed to negotiate a right turn and crossed into the eastbound lane, colliding with a Ford Mustang in a partial head-on.

“It looked like he just completely missed making that corner,” McCormick said.

The 4Runner then sideswiped the Mustang, according to the trooper, tearing off the left front wheels of both vehicles. The Mustang spun and came to rest against the wall of the canyon. Cheetham’s 4Runner spun 90 degrees before flipping and landing on its roof. 

“During that rolling over, (Cheetham’s) dog was ejected out of the vehicle,” McCormick said.

The animal was somehow uninjured. 

The driver of the Mustang was the only person in the vehicle. He suffered small lacerations from the crash, according to McCormick, and refused medical treatment.

Video submitted by Kenny Cooper

West Routt Fire Protection District firefighters transported Cheetham to the UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center with multiple foot fractures, McCormick said. 

Prior to the crash, several drivers had observed Cheetham speeding and driving recklessly, according to McCormick.

“He had just passed a car before the crash,” McCormick said. “She was one of the first to come on scene and recognized it as the vehicle that blew by her.”

Hospital officials evaluated Cheetham for impairment, but those tests came back negative, McCormick said. He attributes speeding as the primary factor in the crash.

West Routt Fire Chief Dal Leck said the incident closed U.S. 40 for approximately 40 minutes.

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