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.
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