Charges planned for Basalt car crash
ASPEN – An El Jebel man was allegedly under the influence of alcohol and cocaine when the vehicle he was driving plowed into the car of a Basalt couple Thursday night, Basalt police said Monday.Oscar Canas Portillo, 32, will likely be charged with suspicion of two counts of vehicular assault causing serious bodily injury; driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs; driving under the influence with an excessive blood-alcohol level; and driving while his license was under revocation for a prior alcohol-related offense, Sgt. Stewart Curry said.Canas Portillo hasn’t been arrested yet. An Eagle County judge is reviewing an arrest warrant.Investigators believe Canas Portillo borrowed another person’s Chevy Blazer while they were drinking at a downtown Basalt establishment shortly after 10:30 p.m. Thursday. They said he crossed the center line on Two Rivers Road about 1 mile west of downtown and slammed head on into the vehicle of John “Jeff” Reese and Susan L. Grove.Reese and Grove, who were married about one year ago, both suffered head injuries and remained unconscious Monday at Denver Health Medical Center, Curry said. A hospital spokeswoman said both Grove and Reese were in critical condition.Emergency responders said Reese and Grove were wearing their seat belts and that air bags deployed, but the collision was forceful enough to result in serious injuries.Reese is a native Aspenite who recently returned to the area and works for the Marolt accounting firm. Family friend and work colleague Roger Marolt said Reese suffered a broken ankle, three broken ribs, a head injury and possible neck injury. Grove suffered a broken leg, a broken hip, a head injury and possibly a spine injury. Marolt said he learned of their injuries through Jeff’s father, John “Jack” Reese of Aspen. The good news, Marolt said, is that the vital signs of both Grove and Reese were strong.Canas Portillo suffered a broken lower leg in the accident, Curry said, and he remained in Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs Monday. The man initially denied being responsible for the accident, but confessed in a later interview when an officer fluent in Spanish was present, Curry said.”Oscar admitted to being the driver of that vehicle,” Curry said. The prior conviction for an alcohol-related driving offense appeared to be in Colorado but outside the Roaring Fork Valley, the officer said.Canas Portillo agreed to allow the hospital to turn over his medical records to the police. That showed the level of alcohol in his blood exceeded the legal limit when he arrived at Valley View, Curry said. The officer described Canas Portillo as cooperative.”He feels pretty bad,” Curry said. “He’s definitely in good shape, and these guys are in bad shape.”Police anticipate arresting Canas Portillo when he is discharged from the firstname.lastname@example.org
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
Watering restrictions are in place for Glenwood Springs residents, according to a news release.