Man exits hospital, enters jail for DUI


— A 29-year-old man was released from the hospital Friday morning only to be arrested on suspicion of drunken driving stemming from a rollover accident Thursday evening east of Hayden.

Francisco Leon Sandoval was in the custody of the Routt County Sheriff's Office Friday because alcohol allegedly played a role in the accident that occurred about 8 p.m. on U.S. 40, said Colorado State Patrol trooper Brett Hilling, who investigated the crash.

Sandoval faces charges of driving under the influence of alcohol, careless driving and false reporting.

Sandoval "was eastbound on U.S. 40 in the Mount Harris Canyon when his truck veered left and collided with a rock wall," Hilling said.

The crash caused Sandoval's yellow 1980 GMC pickup to roll one-and-one-half times before coming to a rest on the driver's side, he said.

Hilling believes Sandoval was traveling 54 mph at the time the accident occurred.

Sandoval was taken out of the truck, which sustained extensive front-end damage, by witnesses who saw the crash.

"Sandoval suffered cuts and bruises and complained of back and neck pain," Hilling said.

An ambulance transported the man to the Yampa Valley Medical Center where he was held overnight and then released Friday morning.

Sandoval denied that he was driving the vehicle, Hilling said.

"He claims someone else was driving," he said. "But the West Routt Fire Department spent about two hours looking for another person in the area. They did not find anybody else."

Hilling also had Hayden Police on the lookout for anyone in town who may have been in an accident.

Hilling did not believe the man's story because of the injuries he sustained in the crash.

Sandoval "had a real deep gash on his left thigh," he said. "The injury is consistent with him sitting against the door on the left side. He also suffered impact to his chest, which was possibly from the steering wheel."

A blood test was conducted at the hospital. It will be used to determine Sandoval's blood-alcohol content, Hilling said.

During an interview, Sandoval indicated to Hilling that he had been drinking at a bar in Hayden.


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