Steamboat Springs An Arkansas teen-ager is in serious condition after he lost control of his sport utility vehicle Wednesday on Colorado 131 and was ejected from the vehicle.
Stuart Collier, 17, was about two miles south of the town of Oak Creek at about 11:30 a.m. when he drove off the right side of the road.
He overcorrected, sending his 2000 Toyota Forerunner over the embankment.
The vehicle rolled once down the embankment, Trooper Brett Hilling of the Colorado State Patrol said.
When the vehicle returned to an upright position, Collier was ejected through the sunroof and landed about 30 or 40 feet from the vehicle, he said.
Hilling said Collier was not wearing a seatbelt.
Tests determined the teenager was under the influence of a depressant at the time of the accident, Hilling said.
Collier has been charged with driving under the influence of drugs and careless driving.
He was headed to Steamboat Springs for the July 3 and 4 Independence Incident Music Festival, Hilling said.
Collier's one-vehicle accident marked the first motor vehicle accident over the holiday weekend that involved the use of drugs, he said.
Collier was rushed to Yampa Valley Medical Center and flown about four hours after the accident to Denver Health Medical Center.
Keith Lightfoot, an administrator at Yampa Valley Medical Center, said Collier was in serious condition when he left Steamboat Springs.
Collier had no broken bones, but doctors were concerned with an internal chest injury, Lightfoot said.
Although no other vehicles were involved, the potential for a multivehicle accident was there, Hilling said.
"Traffic was extremely busy (along Colo. 131)," he said.
Hilling said the State Patrol would maintain a presence over the Fourth of July weekend.
The Routt County Sheriff's Office is among 23 statewide that intend to conduct saturation patrols during the long holiday weekend.