Update: Woman jumped from Jeep on Highway 82
A Carbondale woman who was found unconscious alongside Two Rivers Road in Basalt Thursday night jumped from a vehicle while it was traveling between 30 and 35 mph, according to witness statements, Basalt Police Chief Greg Knott said Friday.
The 21-year-old woman, whose identity hasn’t been released, was the front passenger in a 1993 Jeep Wrangler that had turned off of Highway 82 and was driving toward Basalt. She suffered severe injuries in the accident, according to an officer with Basalt Fire Department.
“A witness, who was driving behind the Jeep Wrangler on Two Rivers Road, said she observed the female jump from the front passenger seat of the moving vehicle,” Knott said in a news release issued Friday morning.
The woman apparently jumped after an altercation with the driver, a 25-year-old male who is her ex-boyfriend, according to the police investigation. The man stayed at the scene of the accident and talked to police officers.
The man and the woman in the Jeep were driving to work together. Knott said they live in the same household in Carbondale. He declined to discuss what the altercation was about.
“The male said the female became upset during their drive on Highway 82 and began striking him about the face and upper body area,” Knott’s news release said. “He continued by saying that after he exited Highway 82 onto Two Rivers Road the female opened the passenger side door and jumped from the moving vehicle. The driver said he was traveling between 30 and 35 mph at the time of the incident.”
The woman was found unconscious along Two Rivers Road in the area where there is a bus stop and a gravel and sand storage area for the Colorado Department of Transportation. Knott said the driver pulled off a short distance upvalley from where the woman landed. The driver’s name wasn’t released.
Knott said the woman hasn’t been interviewed yet because of the extent of her injuries. An emergency medical responder from Basalt Fire Department told the Aspen Times Thursday night that the woman hadn’t regained consciousness by the time she was taken to the hospital. She was initially taken to Aspen Valley Hospital, then transferred to Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs, according to Knott.
A second witness corroborated the driver’s story. The accident was reported at 5:58 p.m. Shortly before the accident was reported to the Pitkin County Regional Communications Center, another caller reported two people were having a physical confrontation in a vehicle on Highway 82 near Two Rivers Road. That caller also talked to police Thursday night, according to Knott.
The witness “reported seeing the female physically assaulting the male driver of the Jeep Wrangler while it was traveling eastbound on Highway 82 near Two Rivers Road,” the news release said.
He said it is too soon to determine if the altercation could result in a criminal charge. Police want to talk to the woman, but it’s unknown if and when that will be possible.
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Update 6 a.m. Monday: I-70 eastbound was reopened between mile markers 105 and 114, New Castle to Glenwood Springs, just before 3 a.m. after an overnight closure due to a minor injury, multi-vehicle crash.