Silt woman on her bed when car crashes into bedroom
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
SILT, Colorado – Ethel Richards surprisingly let out a giggle as she spoke about a car that smashed through her bedroom wall Wednesday night, while she was sitting on her bed.
“It was scary,” said 83-year-old Richards. “You hear about these things but you never think they will happen to you.”
Richards said that she was watching the news about 9:30 p.m. just before going to sleep, as she does every night, when a car crashed through her closet.
“It came right through the bedroom wall,” she explained. “Right through the closet. It scared me to death.”
She had just gotten up to get some popcorn and was sitting on the edge of the bed when the horrifying crash occurred.
“If I’d been in bed those closet doors would have hit me,” she said.
Richards, who has lived her entire life in Silt, lives at the corner of Ballard Avenue and North Seventh Street – just two blocks up from the police station. She recalled the loud engine revving as it lay wedged in the wall of her home – like a large, steel, beached whale.
A neighbor came running over and turned the vehicle’s engine off.
James Morrell, 52, was arrested by Silt Police and charged for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol and reckless driving. Morrell was booked at the Garfield County Jail Wednesday night but bonded out Thursday about 5 p.m. on a $1,750 bond.
“All I could think about was picking up the phone and running,” Richards said.
She called her son, who lives close by, and he quickly came to her aid. By Friday afternoon, Richards was working with the insurance company to get her house fixed. Her son had already put up plywood sheets to cover the gaping hole in the wall.
The closet doors were ripped off and a new air conditioner , still in the box, now has a big dent in it. A lamp and end table near the closet were untouched.
Ironically, Richards just added the bedroom to her home only two years earlier.
“He could have gone all they way through,” she said.
According to Richards, the car missed her home’s gas meter by about two feet.
Burning Mountains Fire Protection District Chief Brit McLin said that crews showed up to secure the scene and contacted Xcel Energy to shut off the power for safety reasons. The structure was deemed livable, power was restored, and Richards was allowed back into her home of 14 years. The bedroom still doesn’t have electricity.
She said she never thought this type of thing would happen to her, but she was happy that no one was hurt.
“I’m OK,” she said. “It could have been much worse.”
She laughed saying that she has a good story to tell her friends now. But on Wednesday night she wasn’t laughing at all. “It was very scary.”
Dale Shrull contributed to this story.
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Garfield County counted five new deaths attributed to COVID-19 over the past six weeks, even as the county’s vaccination rate continues to go up.