Two-car collision plugs up Grand Avenue
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — A Toyota SUV overturned in the 2000 block of Grand Avenue at 8:42 a.m. Tuesday, blocking traffic for about an hour and drawing passersby out of their own cars to help extricate the occupant of the overturned vehicle.
According to Glenwood Springs Police Chief Terry Wilson, the accident involved two cars — a 2004 Toyota SUV, and a 2004 GMC Yukon — both heading south on Grand Avenue in the vicinity of the intersections with 19th and 20th Streets.
Wilson reported that the Yukon was in the center, left-turn lane trying to get into the 19th Street Diner parking lot when the Toyota, driven by Joel Williams, 25, of Glenwood Springs, suddenly rammed into the Yukon’s right-rear fender.
Williams told the police he was reaching to retrieve his backpack, which was on the passenger-side front floor, when he felt the vehicle drifting from the lane in which he had been driving, toward the left-turn lane and the stopped Yukon.
According to Wilson, Williams immediately “yanked” the steering wheel to the right to avoid the Yukon, but hit it anyway, and the combined forces of the vehicle’s motion launched his Toyota into the air and down onto its passenger side.
“I don’t know if you’d call it a rollover, but it was a tip-over for sure,” the chief said.
The driver of the Yukon, also a Glenwood Springs resident, was taken to Valley View Hospital to be checked out for possible injuries, but Williams said he was unhurt and was allowed to leave after being ticketed for careless driving.
Both vehicles sustained considerable damage, Wilson reported, although he said the Yukon was still “drivable” and was parked temporarily to permit its owner to return and drive it home after he was released from the hospital.
The Toyota was sufficiently damaged that it had to be towed away, Wilson reported.
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Officer Haley Walker sat beside her stepmother in a windowless interrogation room just before starting the overnight shift on Thursday evening.