School of hard knocks |

School of hard knocks

by Carrie Click
Post Independent Staff

WEST GLENWOOD ” A man driving a Jeep slammed into the north side of the Glenwood Springs Middle School Sunday, totaling the vehicle and sending the driver to Valley View Hospital with a severe head laceration.

No one else was involved or injured in the accident.

According to Shauna Swale of the Colorado State Patrol, Gerardo Ortega Perez, 32, was heading south on Soccer Field Road in front of the school at around 12:15 p.m. when he left the road, drove through the school’s chain-link fence, across the school lawn and directly into one of the school’s brick exterior walls.

Swale said it’s unknown how fast Perez was traveling at the time of the crash.

She said the building didn’t appear to suffer extensive damage.

“I saw one cracked brick, and some of the wall was scuffed up,” Swale said.

It appears the 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee will be totaled, Swale said, because of the front-end damage to the vehicle.

In addition, the Jeep’s door had to be cut off in order to extricate the driver, Swale said.

Perez was wearing his seat belt at the time of the crash.

“If he hadn’t, he would have gone right through the windshield,” said Swale.

Following the collision, Perez was conscious and talking, stating that he didn’t know what happened in the moments leading up to the crash.

Alcohol is believed to be involved in the accident, according to Swale.

Perez was expected to be released Sunday afternoon from Valley View.

Glenwood Springs Fire Department and the Colorado State Patrol responded to the scene.

Contact Carrie Click: 945-8515, ext. 518

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