Man charged with fleeing accident

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A Clark man was arrested Monday in connection with a car accident Saturday night on Routt County Road 62.

Scott Custer, 26, was arrested on suspicion of failing to notify police of an accident, failing to remain at the scene of an accident, driving under the influence of alcohol and careless driving. Custer suffered minor injuries. The incident is one of several recent accidents in which the driver has fled the scene, Colorado State Patrol Trooper Brett Hilling said.

About 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Custer was driving on C.R. 62 about two miles northwest of Clark, Hilling said. His red 1991 Chevrolet veered off the right side of the road into two trees, causing severe front damage to the vehicle. Custer then drove the car back onto the road and parked it alongside the road about 150 feet from the site of the collision, he said.

According to police reports, a man heard the crash from inside his house and went outside to investigate. At Custer's request, the man gave Custer a ride to Custer's house. During the ride, Custer reportedly told the man he drank five rum and Cokes and several beers before driving, Hilling said. Custer told the man he would report the accident once home, but he never did, Hilling said. Custer allegedly returned to the scene of the accident later that night and removed the car's license plates and all documentation.

Sunday morning, Custer went to the hospital and received treatment for an injured shoulder and knee. He told the hospital he hurt himself falling down stairs, Hilling said.

Troopers found the car Monday morning when it was reported abandoned. Using the car's vehicle identification number, troopers determined Custer to be the owner of the vehicle and contacted him at his residence, Hilling said.

Hilling said that, in the past two weeks, he has responded to four accidents in which the driver fled the scene. He encourages everyone to report motor vehicle accidents because they face greater penalties for not doing so.

"The penalty is pretty severe if you flee an accident," he said. "Plus, taxpayers then have to pay for all the time we spend searching for injured occupants."

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