Christmas accident leads to felony arrest |

Christmas accident leads to felony arrest

Miguel Angel Sanchez Gutierrez
Staff Photo |

A Carbondale man with four previous drunken driving cases is likely to face felony charges in a single-car accident on Interstate 70 near Silt that put him and another man in the hospital on Christmas morning.

Miguel Angel Sanchez Gutierrez, 28, blew 0.188 on a portable breath test after he and Francisco Roman Soriano, 44, also of Carbondale, were extracted from the wreck of a Ford F-150 pick-up truck near mile marker 96.

Soriano was taken to Valley View Hospital with “serious bodily injuries.” Attempts to confirm his condition were not successful Monday evening.

The first Colorado State Patrol trooper to arrive on scene described road conditions at the time of the accident — around 8:50 a.m. — as “wet and icy” with “light to moderate snowfall” and only the right lane of the highway cleared. The pickup was on its driver’s side and appeared to have rolled at least once. Inside, Gutierrez was alert and holding Soriano, who appeared to be in severe pain.

“There was a large pool of blood on the roadway underneath both of the parties,” the trooper wrote in Gutierrez’s arrest affidavit.

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As fire crews worked to extricate the pair, the trooper charted the course of the crash and observed a bottle of cinnamon whiskey and an empty beer can in the debris.

Gutierrez initially told authorities that he was the passenger in the truck. When an examination at the hospital showed bruises on his left shoulder typically associated with the seat belt on the driver’s side, he admitted to being the driver and agreed to the breath test.

According to the affidavit, he told police that he had been attempting to pass a slower vehicle in the right lane and lost control. He said he had been drinking until around 3 a.m. and had opened a can of Budweiser in an effort to cure the hangover.

Gutierrez, who had an active warrant and suspended license due to four previous DUI cases, was arrested for vehicular assault, a felony, and driving under the influence, careless driving causing bodily injury, false reporting and failure to comply, all misdemeanors.

With three past immigration cases, he was deemed a flight risk and issued a $10,000 bond.

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