Teen driver, 10-year-old passenger roll car into Stagecoach Reservoir
Steamboat Springs — A teenage driver and his 10-year-old passenger escaped with cuts and abrasions late Wednesday afternoon after the Subaru Outback they were traveling in rolled from Routt County Road 18 down an embankment and landed on its wheels halfway submerged in Stagecoach Reservoir.
The accident call was received at 5:02 p.m.
Oak Creek Fire Protection District Chief Chuck Wisecup said the driver and his passenger initially were taken to the Stagecoach State Park building and did not need to be transported by ambulance to the hospital. Routt County Sheriff’s Office Cpl. Mark Mackey said the 17-year-old driver and his passenger later were taken by private automobile to the hospital as a precautionary measure.
C.R. 18 travels along a steep embankment on the north side of the reservoir on its way to a parking lot at the dam. The car was driving east at the time of the crash.
A witness to the accident said he watched from his motorboat on the reservoir as the car careened off the county road and into the lake.
“We were turning around just as the car came flying off the road,” Jason Reese said. “It got airborne and rolled three times.”
Reese, who owns recreation business Wakeboard Watersports, said he sped to the scene of the accident in his 22-foot water ski boat to offer assistance.
“We floored it over there and helped them out of the vehicle,” Reese said. “They were able to open the car door. We put them on our boat. The driver was bleeding big time from his head.”
The 10-year-old passenger was visibly upset, Reese added.
After helping the two occupants of the car onto the swim platform at the stern and into the boat, Reese sped off again in the direction of the state park headquarters where emergency personnel assembled.
Routt County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Shawn Hockaday investigated the accident, Wisecup said. The vehicle had Colorado license plates, he added.
Mackey said the driver was cited for careless driving.
Referring to Hockaday’s accident report, Mackey said that the driver of the vehicle had a valid driver’s license and that the driver and passenger were wearing seat belts. They gave a Routt County address.
The driver told Hockaday that he started to slide to the right just before the car went over the side and began to roll, Mackey said. Mackey added that there is no indication in his report that Hockaday suspected drugs or alcohol were involved.
The rollover crash was the first of two incidents at Stagecoach on Wednesday. As soon as Oak Creek Fire Protection District personnel returned to their station after the rollover crash, they were called back out at about 7:30 p.m. to respond to a motorcycle accident at mile marker 6 on C.R. 16 in the vicinity of the Morningside subdivision. C.R. 16 travels along the south side of Stagecoach Reservoir.
Wisecup said a man, about 40 years old, was transported to the hospital with a shoulder injury.
The Colorado State Patrol investigated that accident, he said.
To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email tross@SteamboatToday.com
With an above-average snowpack following a snowy winter, local firefighters and wildlife experts are expecting a mild fire season this year, especially at higher elevations.