SNOWMASS VILLAGE - A Front Range man was arrested early Friday morning on suspicion of felony vehicular assault and a number of other charges after he allegedly crashed a Cadillac Escalade while trying to stave off the pursuit of a Snowmass Village police officer.
Kyle Wesley Price, 20, of Brighton, also stands accused of felony vehicular eluding, driving under the influence and lesser charges connected to the incident, in which he's accused of hitting speeds of up to 70 miles per hour on Snowmass roads that limit motorists to 30 mph.
Both Price and a passenger were hospitalized with injuries, according to a narrative of the event written by Snowmass Police Officer Franz Zedlacher.
Zedlacher wrote that at 1:45 a.m., he began following the SUV on Brush Creek Road. The vehicle was weaving, but it wasn't until the Escalade traveled onto the bicycle path on the right shoulder of Brush Creek Road, before reaching the intersection of Clubhouse Drive, that Zedlacher activated the patrol vehicle's emergency lights.
The SUV kept going, however, and "continued to disregard my siren and emergency lights, and traveled through the roundabout and onto Highline Road," Franz wrote. Once on Highline, the SUV went into the opposite lane, reaching speeds of 60 mph at the intersection of Highline and Snowmass Circle and later 70 mph, Franz wrote.
"The vehicle then traveled onto the dirt shoulder of Highline Road fully with both tires and came within inches of traveling off of the steep embankment on the west shoulder of the roadway," the report says. "The vehicle then overcorrected, crossed into the opposite, downhill lane of traffic, traveled into a ditch on the east side of Highline Road, and collided with a dirt mountainside. The vehicle then drove up onto the mountainside, before fully coming to a rest."
Zedlacher noted that both the driver's and front passenger's airbags deployed. Both occupants were not wearing seat belts.
Passenger Karen Lynn Tutwiler, 57, was slumped over the center console; she was unconscious and breathing, Zedlacher wrote. Price was moaning, and moments after he regained consciousness - he was still in the SUV at the time - he told Zedlacher that "I wasn't driving."
Both Price and Tutwiler were taken to the hospital with what Chief Deputy District Attorney Arnold Mordkin described as "minor injuries."
Price again denied driving when Zedlacher visited him at Aspen Valley Hospital, where he placed him under arrest. Price refused to take a blood-alcohol test.
After Price was released from the hospital, he was taken to Pitkin County Jail. Later Friday, a judge advised him of the charges he faces, which also include underage possession of alcohol, reckless driving, failure to drive in a single lane and not wearing a seat belt.
Price was released on $3,000 bond.