Man arrested in rollover case
Alcohol suspected as contributing factor to June 15 accident
July 12, 2005
The driver of a vehicle that rolled June 15 on Buffalo Pass Road has been arrested in connection with the accident.
Eric Thomas Sullivan, 31, of Steamboat Springs, was arrested Saturday on two counts of vehicular assault, a Class 4 felony, Colorado State Patrol Trooper Melissa Remner said.
The accident happened at about 5 p.m. on a gravel section of Routt County Road 34, known as Buffalo Pass Road. Sullivan apparently lost control of an open-topped 1994 Jeep Wrangler as he came out of a turn and rolled the vehicle 1 1/4 times. All three occupants of the Jeep were ejected from their seats. None was wearing a seat belt.
Alcohol is suspected as a contributing factor in the accident, and several beer bottles were found in the Jeep and around the accident scene.
Passengers Tohna Mari Nadu, 29, and Cheryl Mae Gartz, 20, both of Steamboat, were injured in the accident.
Gartz suffered severe injuries after being thrown about 70 feet down an embankment. Gartz was flown to Denver Health Medical Center, where she remained for several weeks being treated for her injuries. She was discharged from the hospital July 7.
Nadu was thrown about 15 feet from the Jeep and was treated for her injuries and released from Yampa Valley Medical Center the day of the accident.
Sullivan was kept in the hospital overnight for his injuries and observation and also submitted to two blood tests.
Remner has been investigating the accident and was waiting to see how Gartz’s condition improved before making an arrest.
According to results of the blood tests, Sullivan’s blood-alcohol content was 0.195 at 6:22 p.m. and 0.178 when he was retested at 6:51 p.m. In Colorado, a blood-alcohol content of 0.05 or higher is considered legally intoxicated.
Court documents also show that Sullivan was traveling between 40 mph and 60 mph when the accident occurred. The posted speed limit on the road was 25 mph.
Sullivan was arrested and taken to Routt County Jail. where he was released on a $5,000 bond.
Sullivan will appear in Routt County Court on July 19.