$5,000 bond for Highway 82 wrong-way driver | PostIndependent.com

$5,000 bond for Highway 82 wrong-way driver

A judge set bond at $5,000 for a Basalt man who faces vehicular assault and

driving-under-the-influence charges after he allegedly drove a vehicle in

the wrong direction on Highway 82 in Snowmass Canyon and struck another car.

Brenton Merlin, 48, was arrested Sunday by a Colorado State Patrol officer.

Merlin, who has been in the custody of Pitkin County Jail since his arrest,

was brought into the courthouse via wheelchair. He told the judge he

suffered numerous injuries from the crash.

“I broke my pelvis, damaged my left hand, both of my shoulders, my ankles

and feet, and have 30 stitches in my right hip,” he told District Judge Gail

Nichols. “I need assistance getting out of bed and into the bathroom.”

Merlin said he spent five days under the care of Swedish Medical Center in

Denver. He now is undergoing care from Aspen Orthopaedic Associates, he


The accident occurred at approximately 6 a.m., when the Ford Escape driven

by Merlin collided with a Nissan Frontier driven by Rodolfo Argueta, 47, of

Glenwood Springs. Argueta was heading east in the eastbound lanes at the

time of the accident. The extent of his injuries were not available Monday.

Should Merlin post bond, he is not allowed to consume alcohol and must

enroll at The Right Door, an Aspen facility that treats people with

substance-abuse issues. The vehicular assault charge is a felony.

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