16-year-old crashes through barn

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An intoxicated 16-year-old Steamboat Springs boy allegedly crashed his Jeep Cherokee through two barn walls late Saturday night, causing extensive damage to a barn on Routt County Road 14.

The accident occurred at about 10:50 p.m. Saturday, when the boy was attempting to make a right hand turn out of Emerald Meadows Drive onto Routt County Road 14, State Patrol Trooper Jeff Vrbas said. Instead of turning, the boy traveled across the road, went airborne and crashed into a barn, going through one cinder block wall and almost entirely through a second one, Vrbas said.

The boy suffered minor scratches on his arms from broken glass and was transported by ambulance to Yampa Valley Medical Center, where he was treated and released to his parents later that night, Vrbas said.

The boy created a ten-foot hole in the first wall he traveled through and a 15-foot hole in the second wall, and the crash knocked down the two barn walls. A corner was the only part supporting one side of the barn, Vrbas said.

Vrbas was unsure how much monetary damaged the accident caused.

The boy was charged with careless driving, driving under the influence of alcohol and being a minor who consumed alcohol.

Vrbas largely contributes the accident to the boy's level of intoxication and noted that he was not going too fast and that the road conditions were good.

The boy was pulling out of the T-shaped intersection when the accident occurred, Vrbas said. The vehicle was angled as if the boy was attempting to make a right hand turn.

The section of the barn the boy crashed into was used for hay storage. Nothing was between the two the walls except for loose hay, Vrbas said. Horses usually are kept in the barn's corrals, but that night, they were put in a different area, Vrbas said.

The airbag in the Cherokee was deployed, and the boy told the State Patrol he was wearing his seat belt, Vrbas said. The vehicle was damaged severely in the front end and on the roof.

After the accident, the boy walked to a nearby house and called 911.

"If he had gone sideways or rolled, it would have been much worse," Vrbas said.

-- To reach Christine Metz call 871-4229

or e-mail cmetz@steamboatpilot.com

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