Rollover kills Silt teenager
SILT – One teenager is dead and three others injured after a one-car rollover accident Tuesday morning in the Silt Mesa area.Three of the four teenage boys in the vehicle were on their way to an informal summer basketball practice when the accident occurred around 9:15 a.m., according to Coal Ridge High School varsity basketball coach Mike Cox.Zach Schwartz, 16, of Silt, died while being airlifted to St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction, Cox said.Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario, whose department assisted the Colorado State Patrol at the scene, said the accident happened on County Road 236 (Harness Lane) about two miles north of Silt.”It was a single-car accident,” Vallario said. “They apparently lost control and rolled. Two were ejected from the vehicle.”According to a press release from the Colorado State Patrol, a 1998 Ford pickup was westbound on County Road 236 when the driver failed to negotiate a slight left-hand turn. The driver then lost control of the vehicle and the truck went of the left side of the roadway. It then rolled one and one-half times before coming to rest on its roof.Cox said the injured included driver Braxton Jackson, 16, of New Castle, Alex Klein, 15, of New Castle, and Ian Martinez, 16, of Silt.The State Patrol said all four boys were transported to Grand River Medical Center in Rifle. The driver of the truck was treated and released from the center, while the other three were flown to St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction.Officials from St. Mary’s Hospital would release the condition of only Martinez on Tuesday afternoon, whom they listed as “critical.”The State Patrol press release said the occupant of the passenger seat was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the vehicle. Schwartz is believed to have been seated in the middle of the front seat, and was ejected from the vehicle when the truck rolled.The driver and a passenger in the back seat are believed to have been wearing seat belts.The Titans basketball team was scheduled to leave early this morning to attend a basketball camp in Laramie, Wyo. Instead, Cox, who immediately went to Grand Junction after hearing about the accident, said that the trip was canceled.Schwartz, Klein and Jackson were all players on last year’s Coal Ridge team. Martinez is also a student at Coal Ridge High School, but not on the basketball team.Coal Ridge High School just opened last fall to freshmen and sophomores.The CPS is still investigating the accident but high speed is believed to be a contributing factor. The press release said that charges have been filed against the driver but no other details were released.
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