Crash disrupts commute, power



Yampa Valley Electric Association crews work on a switch box that needed to be replaced after a truck crashed into the box Monday morning at the intersection of Fish Creek Falls Road and Amethyst Drive. Power was temporarily out for about 375 consumers.


Steamboat Springs police officer Dan Kelliher, left, and Colorado State Patrol trooper Rick Kaspar investigate a two-vehicle accident Monday morning at the intersection of Amethyst Drive and Fish Creek Falls Road. A 10-year-old girl went to the hospital with minor injuries.

— A two-vehicle accident on Fish Creek Falls Road on Monday morning disrupted the morning commute and left about 375 Yampa Valley Electric Association customers without power.

The power outage affected more than 375 customers immediately after the accident, but YVEA workers rerouted electricity to isolate the outage, which occurred at about 8 a.m. All three Steamboat schools were without power at one point, YVEA foreman Mike VandenBurg said.

YVEA spokesman Jim Chappell said power was restored to most customers at 8:51 a.m. About 50 people were left without power until 10:20 a.m. while YVEA transferred electricity from one circuit to another and replaced a switch box damaged in the crash.

The outage occurred after a gold Ford F-250 truck crashed into the switch box and a light pole at the intersection of Fish Creek Falls Road and Amethyst Drive. Steamboat Springs police Officer Dan Kelliher said the truck was heading down Fish Creek Falls Road and collided with a white Ford Explorer that was traveling up the road and attempting to turn onto Amethyst Drive.

The driver of the Explorer was a Steamboat Springs High School student, Kelliher said. The teen's younger sister was a passenger in the vehicle. The juvenile driver was ticketed for careless driving. Airbags deployed in the Explorer, but neither student was injured.

A 10-year-old girl in the F-250 went to Yampa Valley Medical Center with minor injuries, said police, who could not provide more information because the girl is a minor.

Colorado State Patrol Trooper Rick Kaspar assisted Kelliher in reconstructing the accident scene. Tom Whiddon, a Steamboat Springs senior community service officer, helped direct the rush-hour traffic.

Kelliher said the road was closed at times and traffic was rerouted.

"It was a pretty big inconvenience for people, but everyone was polite in letting us finish the scene," Kelliher said.

Brandon Gee contributed to this report.

- To reach Matt Stensland, call 871-4247 or e-mail


Ms_E_Bronte 9 years, 7 months ago

The intersection at Amehyst and Fish Creek Falls Road is a challenge for any driver--especially during the "school" rush hour in the mornings. Couple that with the sun blinding you as you approach Amethyst to make the left turn--some days it's next to impossible to see vehicles coming towards you on Fish Creek Falls Road. Wouldn't a light at that intersection help alleviate future accidents? It could be programmed to be operational during the "school" rush hours in the morning and afternoon. Thankfully, there were not more injuries to the drivers and passengers. As far as the power outage is concerned, people were inconvenienced for a couple of hours. That's all. It happens.


dave reynolds 9 years, 7 months ago

good idea but the incline there could create more accidents(winter) due to inability to stop just a thought


Carrie Requist 9 years, 7 months ago

I'm not sure why you would come up Fish Creek to turn Left onto Amethyst, why not go up 3rd to Pine to 2nd to Maple? Doesn't this route have less traffic, and it doesn't put you in the blinding sun and keeps you off of residential Amethyst while still getting you to the high school (or onto Strawberry Park Elementary School)?


jeannie berger 9 years, 7 months ago

It is extremely difficult to make a left turn off of maple and on to Amethyst in the morning and in the evening due to the high volume of traffic going to and from the strawberry park schools. Try it some morning between 7:55 and 8:15 and you will see why one would take FCF up to Amethyst and turn left.


Carrie Requist 9 years, 7 months ago

That's true about turning off of Maple onto Amethyst to go to the elementary, but what about going to the high school? Wouldn't it be better to go Maple than FCF to Amethyst? I hate that intersection at Maple and Amethyst no matter what direction you are going - always seems like there is going to be an accident, especially if you are coming from SPE and planning to keep going straight and not turn, the people on Maple can't tell and can't see you with much warning to know if they can turn left or not.


jeannie berger 9 years, 6 months ago

Yes, if you are just going to the high school it makes no sense to go up FCF. The article states the high school driver had a younger sister in the car so maybe they were heading to the SP schools.


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