Jade Stevens, 21, sits on the sidewalk near her wrecked Jeep on Thursday morning after being struck by a semitrailer on westbound Lincoln Avenue. Stevens was headed west in the right-hand lane when the truck attempted to turn right from the left-hand lane. The impact tipped the Jeep, which slid to a stop on its side. Stevens was ejected from her vehicle, and she apparently suffered minor injuries in the accident.

Photo by John F. Russell

Jade Stevens, 21, sits on the sidewalk near her wrecked Jeep on Thursday morning after being struck by a semitrailer on westbound Lincoln Avenue. Stevens was headed west in the right-hand lane when the truck attempted to turn right from the left-hand lane. The impact tipped the Jeep, which slid to a stop on its side. Stevens was ejected from her vehicle, and she apparently suffered minor injuries in the accident.

Semi driver cited for careless driving in Lincoln Avenue wreck that tipped Jeep

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A 21-year-old woman appeared to be only slightly injured after her Jeep Wrangler was tipped on its side in a Thursday morning crash with a wide-load trailer on Lincoln Avenue in downtown Steamboat Springs.

Police say the crash happened when a westbound semi-trailer carrying snow-grooming equipment tried to make a right turn onto Fourth Street from the left lane of Lincoln Avenue. The trucker told police he was trying to avoid the heavy Lincoln Avenue traffic.

The front right tire of the truck hit the rear driver's side of a black Jeep in the right lane, knocking the Jeep into a spin and eventually over onto the passenger side, where it skidded to a stop, police said.

Police cited the driver of the truck, 33-year-old Wesley Williams, for careless driving causing bodily injury, Steamboat Springs Police Department Sgt. Dale Coyner said.

The driver of the Jeep, 21-year-old Jade Stevens, was knocked out of her vehicle as it rolled onto its side. She was not wearing a seat belt, Coyner said.

Stevens was not immediately transported to Yampa Valley Medical Center by medical crews. However, she later decided to seek medical treatment, Coyner said. The extent of her injuries is not yet known.

According to police, both vehicles were westbound on Lincoln Avenue when Williams attempted to make a wide right turn onto Fourth Street.

"When it went to make the turn, the tractor portion of the tractor-trailer impacted the rear of the Jeep Wrangler and turned it sideways, and when the Jeep Wrangler slid sideways, it then rolled over onto its side," Coyner said.

The top of the Jeep also came off in the crash because it was not properly bolted on, he said. The truck cab sustained minor damage.

The Jeep was towed from the scene and is likely a loss, Coyner said.

Careless driving causing bodily injury is a Class 1 misdemeanor and carries a penalty of six to 18 months imprisonment, or a $500 to $5,000 fine, or both.

Coyner said Williams reported he thought the Jeep attempted to cut around him on the right side, partially in the parking lanes. Coyner said police based their decision to cite Williams on the statements of both drivers, the physical evidence and statements from eyewitnesses at the scene.

"Our determination was that before you make a right turn from an inside lane with an oversized load, you need to make sure the lane is clear of any vehicles or pedestrians or anything like that," Coyner said.

- To reach Zach Fridell, call 871-4208

or e-mail zfridell@steamboatpilot.com

Comments

Paul Brabenec 4 years, 10 months ago

"The trucker told police he was trying to avoid the heavy Lincoln Avenue traffic." But, what's heavier traffic than wide-load semi trucks? That's what the highway is for and they should stay on the highway and leave Oak Street for bicyclists.

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aichempty 4 years, 10 months ago

Military and aerobatic pilots, and I guess probably NASCAR and Indy car drivers too, know that the seat belt is not just to hold you in the vehicle. When you are secured in your seat, you still have the ability to use both arms, hands and feet to control the vehicle. No example of this is better than an airplane flying upside down with the pilot secured in the seat by a harness.

If you lose control of your car in a skid, or going off the road, you cannot hold onto the steering wheel to steady yourself at the same time you are trying to steer. If you're secured firmly in the seat by a belt you can still steer, use the brakes, accelerator, gear shift, etc., while you are trying to recover control of the vehicle.

I still remember the day my primary flight instructor asked me if my harness was tight, and I said, "yes." He then turned the airplane on its back and I found myself hanging in the straps, unable to reach the controls. He then asked, "would you like to try again?"

This woman is lucky she was not crushed by the jeep. It would not be the first time a young person was crushed by a jeep rolling over in Steamboat Springs.

Lots of people survive crashes these days because of belts and air bags. This incident illustrates that even in a 25 mph zone, you can still get smacked. 25 MPH is 36 feet per second, and is how fast you'd be going if you jumped off something 18 feet high. So, my suggestion is that before you drive on Lincoln without a seat belt, you go find something 18 feet high, jump off and land on the ground to see what it feels like, and then get back in your car and drive. Oh, the same advice goes for cyclists riding in heavy traffic, except you should jump off something 18 feet high and land on your back to simulate being thrown over the handle bars.

I had a friend who was killed on his 14th birthday, riding his brand new moped legally on a public road in South Carolina, when a van pulled out in front of him. He was doing about 30 at the time, was thrown over the handle bars and over the hood of the van, landed on his head, and died at the hospital less than an hour later. A helmet would have spared him the skull fracture, but the broken neck would have left him paralyzed from the neck down.

So, when you decide not to buckle up, even for a short trip at 25 mph, picture yourself having your diapers changed by members of your family for the rest of your life.

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Tracy Barnett 4 years, 10 months ago

This accident could have been so much worse. Thank goodness it wasn't. Drivers are becoming more and more careless, it seems, taking more and more chances. One of these days this carelessness will cause a very serious or deadly accident right in the middle of downtown.

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mtroach 4 years, 10 months ago

At least this semi driver was cited for the crash. No seat belt and a poorly fastened roof should have earned a citation as well, the jeep driver could have been killed by her own carelessness.

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dave reynolds 4 years, 10 months ago

heavy as in density(traffic that is)..I too try to avoid Lincoln Ave due to "careless" (being kind) drivers..there has already been one tragedy..but how soon we forget and continue to use bad judgement while driving.IE..blowing through red light passing on the shoulder using shoulder as a turning lane running stop signs speeding tailgating talking on cell and txting while driving guess theres the rules for the rest of Colorado then theres the rules for Routt County..thank God this woman is OK

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dave reynolds 4 years, 10 months ago

heres a good example Tuesday after turning right at Cook Chey onto HWY 40 Iturned my turn signal on and tried to merge into trafic..well I was forced to stay on the shoulder of the road all the way to Alpine Taxi before some kind soul let me in..please respect each other and be safe..if someone could explain to me why this happened I'd appreciate it

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bandmama 4 years, 10 months ago

Paddle- question for you and all who do this... why turn onto 40 with a line of traffic so long that you KNOW you cant MERGE into traffic, I was taught that it was MY responsibility NOT to interrupt the flow of traffic when turning to any street, it is NOT the drivers who are already going 40mph to slow down and let you in because you couldn't wait till there was a clearing of traffic. I see this constantly and it really bugs me. How big of a hurry were you in that you couldn't have waited a moment or two to pull onto 40 without making some "kind soul" brake, and let you in? It is FAR more dangerous to just expect other drivers to slow down on the HIGHWAY to allow drivers like you in. Take a minute and wait till it is safe and clear to pull unto the highway. There is a reason that you see Yield and Merge signs. Perhaps we all need to clarify the meanings of these words........Websters is a good place to start.....................

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dave reynolds 4 years, 10 months ago

I'm with ya bandmama I have driven professionally(CDL class A) and it is appauling how stupid most folks who drive are....I am held to a higher standard than most drivers..someone posted that all drivers should be required to retest both written and driving every five years I'm all for that..from what I've seen here most couldn't pass

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Fred Duckels 4 years, 10 months ago

Lincoln has relatively light traffic during the slow economy,not so when things pick up. Future growth will produce total chaos on a street that does not meet any safety standard that I can think of. The lanes are too narrow, vehicles have to move laterally in order to keep from hitting mirrors. Mingling light and heavy vehicles is a recipe for disaster. For those that think the street is not a problem I would suggest a ride in an eighteen wheeler to show the danger potential here. I know many who think the street is just fine, I suggest they stick with their day job and leave this death trap to engineers and users, who aren't ideologically driven. We need an alternate route to separate the traffic, as well as provide a workable situation for fire, police, ambulance, holidays, and inevitable disruptions. Our social engineers have been busy siphoning the highway trust fund for all sorts of bargain trophies, seems a good deal but we also need to tend to business and fix an embarassment that has made us the laughing stock of the transportation community. We have construction starting soon on Lincoln and we will all see what an inadequate roadway can do for our enjoyment. We have been lucky with few tragedies here, but I predict that we are pushing our luck. We can't continue to neglect this road and hope that our social engineers can solve everything with grants from money that is being printed up, and does really not exist.

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Fred Duckels 4 years, 10 months ago

In a traffic situation like this the truck could only turn left onto Oak and then cross Lincoln. It is impossible to stay in the right lane and turn right. The other solution is by using flag cars.

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dave reynolds 4 years, 10 months ago

bandmama...it was around 7:00 or 7:30 A.M. when this occured and while yes accellerating to the speed of traffic I see people in my left mirror actually speeding up so I cann't merge into traffic if traffic is heavy there I use the light so maybe you might be one who does speed up so someone cann't merge..i see the same thing at fart park heading west a sign tells you the right lane ends yet people still insist on tring to pass you and force their way into traffic..I try to respect other drivers on the road but sometimes it becomes very diffcult

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bandmama 4 years, 10 months ago

paddle- no, I am not one of "those" people...I am the little old lady driver with white knuckles hoping that the folks who are trying to merge dont slam into the side of my car. I prefer to let those folks in ahead of me so I can see them better, as I am not comfortable with the trying to run up my backside either. You do have a very good point about the fart park...happened to me today at lunch. I do feel your pain. On the other hand, what about a little more enforcement of the speed limit by SSPD? I have had A** crawlers so close to my bumper that if I were to use my brakes they would without a doubt hit me. OR as concerned citizens we could all meet one afternoon for coffee and en mass drive up and down in front of fart park and dream island going ONLY 23 mph........just to make a point? Face it, there will always be idiots on the road. I have learned to just breathe and believe in karma. Perhaps those that speed up to avoid letting you in will step in doggie doo doo, or have to wait for the extra long light at 13th street...dont you get a bit of a thrill pulling up next to those folks that speed pass you or crawl up your butt, and have to wait for the light with them?????

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Harvey Lyon 4 years, 10 months ago

I was always taught one doesn't pass on the right side. And never ever pass a 18-wheeler on the right side without extreme caution and an understanding they can't see you!

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mtroach 4 years, 10 months ago

What about charges in the Farrow death? Is that driver still on the road? I'm disappointed that the Pilot isn't following up on the outcome of this tragedy. Drivers that cause death or personal harm should be held accountable in a court of law.

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kathy foos 4 years, 10 months ago

aichempty,thanks for the seat belt info.Ive heard so many seatbelt saftey reasons but this is the best ever ,to be able to be in position to control the vehicle out of the wreck.I had drivers education at sixteen and never heard of that thought.You are awesome to point that out,

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Amy Harris 4 years, 10 months ago

paddlefisher- You have not explained why you believe you have the right to "merge" into traffic when you are at a STOP sign. It's a very basic rule of the road that when you are at that stop sign, you may only proceed when the road is clear. You may have to wait longer than you like, but that's just too bad. Your impatience does not give you the right to do whatever you want and interrupt the flow of traffic. As a CDL holder, you should know that following traffic laws and driving in a predictable manner results in a safer road for everyone. You are the one causing the problem in this situation.

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nxoby36 4 years, 10 months ago

Fred , has any one ever proposed an elevated bypass be built over the RR tracks ? This has been done in many cities . I know someone will complain about blocking the view of Howelsen Hill but that will be a moot point once the riverfront has been fully developed you won't be able to see anything but the top of the ski Jump from town anyway . This by pass could run from Hwy 131 to west of town maybe out by your pit . This would be a lot cheaper to construct then the proposed Emerald Mountain bypass and easier to maintain . It could be heated and have only three access points like Tree Haus , 5th street and Shield drive thus allowing thru traffic on US 40 to bypass town but still allow easy access to our community's three major sections . Then we could then turn Lincoln Ave. downtown into something we all could be proud of instead of the danger zone it is now .

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mavis 4 years, 10 months ago

nxoby- nice thinking it would work great but good luck getting Brooklyn on your side they can't even deal with trucks driving down their streets so they convinced the city to ban trucks from going that way. ( another direct problem of the traffic on Lincoln)

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Brant McLaughlin 4 years, 10 months ago

I'm with bandmama paddle. I also learned in drivers ed that a merge lane does not give you the right of way. You still are required to wait for a break in traffic. If that break does not come until the light turns red you are required to wait it out.

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Fred Duckels 4 years, 10 months ago

nxoby and mavis, At least you are thinking, our leaders mostly don't look beyond tomorrow at the inevitable problems that we face. When our population doubles all reasonable solutions will be long gone. This lack of foresight is troubling. Most of the bloggers here are just trying to figure how they can safely get through town on the next trip. In adressing this problem a few eggs will be broken, but life is like that.

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bandmama 4 years, 10 months ago

My dear old dad said it best when teaching me to drive, if at any time YOU interrupt the flow of moving, exsisting traffic by turning into a road, (any road....) YOU are at fault and in the wrong. Really this is Steamboat, it isn't a huge city. Common courtesy is all it takes. For all the complaints above, mine included, I am always amazed at how often we also see so many courteous people behind the wheel here. Patience people.... besides YVMC, most of us do not have destinations so important that we need to put others safety in question. And Heck!!!! There is ALWAYS the "Steamboat Time" excuse.....right?????

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Brant McLaughlin 4 years, 10 months ago

Well said bandmama. I learned the exact same thing in drivers ed. It's been 22 years but I remember it like it was yesterday. The ony time you have the right to cause another driver to slow down is when you are directly in front of them, already travelling in traffic and you have to brake. If you've done something else that causes another driver to slow down or change course unexpectedly, then you are probably in the wrong.

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nxoby36 4 years, 10 months ago

Fred I think that the problem with our leaders is not only they aren't looking much beyond tomorrow , I don't think they know any history . If I remember correctly the Fed has already decided that US 40 will become a four lane limited access Highway some time in the near future to take some of the stress off of I-80 and I-70 . When that happens if Steamboat does not already have a plan the Fed will just condemn a lot of ranch land and the bypass they build will not take Steamboats economic interests in mind as they only care about moving traffic . They will most likely go straight from Rabbit Ears to Milner and Steamboat will find itself cut off from the travelers just like most of the towns along the Interstate corridors . I think we should beat them to the punch. A low impact bypass over the RR right of way blending into the environment along the lines of "Glenwood Canyon" with soundproofing and heated by geothermic means where it is in the shadow of Emerald Mountain during the winter with access to Steamboat at the three strategic locations I mentioned earlier would get rid of the problems downtown , meet the future requirements of the Fed , bring new customers to the local merchants and maybe wouldn't bother the folks in Brooklyn as it would also take some of the traffic off of River Road (RCR14)

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Fred Duckels 4 years, 10 months ago

nx, I think a route paralleling the railroad tracks on the far side would work, and then we would have a matching road paralell to Lincoln with many accesses between the two. This would solve many or the problems with the current situation that is a nightmare from reality as well as presenting a terrible climate for a resort. We will never be a quality resort with our own interstate running thru the retail area. I find the lack of foresight here bordering on the ridiculous. One problem, the no growth crowd is foolishly trying to limit growth by creating congestion. Market forces will fail to honor this knee jerk plot.

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aichempty 4 years, 10 months ago

The biggest choke point downtown is the post office. Get them to deliver mail to residences as is done in every other town in the country and the single biggest source of congestion would be gone.

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exduffer 4 years, 10 months ago

Speaking of being in a hurry. I hope no one else notices that if you drive 22 mph from third going west you will never stop at a light downtown. Take that all you 'Respect Life" license plates holders going 40 thru town.

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