Basalt man faces vehicular assault charge after wreck |

Basalt man faces vehicular assault charge after wreck

Naomi Havlen

A Basalt man is charged with vehicular assault after rolling his truck on Owl Creek Road, seriously injuring his brother.Jerry Lee Vasquez-Diaz, 24, was allegedly intoxicated when he failed to negotiate a left curve in the road. His 1995 Dodge Ram went off the right side of the road, spun back across the road and hit an embankment, rolling two times before stopping on its wheels in the middle of the road.His brother, Basalt resident Ralph R. Vasquez, 25, suffered a serious head injury as a result of the crash, according to the state patrol’s report of the incident. On Thursday afternoon Ralph Vasquez was listed in fair condition at Aspen Valley Hospital.Jerry Vasquez-Diaz was also taken to Aspen Valley hospital, where he was treated for minor injuries and released to police.Vasquez-Diaz is charged with a felony count of vehicular assault, driving under the influence of alcohol, reckless driving and driving a vehicle without an operator’s license. He was being held at the Pitkin County Jail with a $6,000 bond, and he has an immigration “hold” placed on him, meaning that if he is convicted he will most likely be deported to his home in Mexico.According to a state patrol report, the crash caused “extreme damage” to the pick-up truck, and Vasquez-Diaz told police he had swerved to miss an animal in the road.Police reportedly noticed that Vasquez-Diaz was unsteady on his feet, staggered and had slurred speech as though he had been drinking. They also reported that Vasquez-Diaz does not have a valid Colorado driver’s license.His next court appearance is scheduled for March 21.Naomi Havlen’s e-mail address is

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