C’dale woman OK after rollover
September 17, 2003
A Carbondale woman was injured after rolling her car in the median of Highway 82 near the Aspen airport on Tuesday morning.
Kelly Brinker, 44, said she was heading up to Aspen for work at 11:50 a.m. when a gust of wind hit her 1995 Ford Explorer and caught her off guard, sending her into the highway’s median. She lost control of her car when it began to fishtail in the median. It rolled one and a half times, coming to rest on its roof facing the upvalley lanes.
“I ended up on my face, and I had my seat belt on with one arm underneath me, and one arm in front of me,” she said. One of her arms is now in a sling because she suffered some separated muscles from the accident.
She said she has cuts on her nose, lips and hands, but that she is otherwise OK. She was released from Aspen Valley Hospital in good condition later Tuesday afternoon.
“It’s wonderful how many people stopped to help me, and the firemen and the guys that had to cut me out of the car were all fabulous,” she said. “I cried the whole time and they kept asking me if I was OK.”
Captain Greg Wisener from the Aspen Volunteer Fire Department said it took about 12 minutes to get Brinker out of the car. They removed both driver’s-side doors and the support bar that separated them with a hydraulic spreader and a cutter.
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According to the Colorado State Patrol, excessive speed was not a factor in the investigation. One lane in each direction of the highway was shut down while rescue workers were on scene, and traffic was slowed considerably.
Brinker’s car was crushed by the crash, and items from her car lay scattered across the median.
“My husband [who drove downvalley past the crash] saw the accident and told me he thought, `Oh God, I hope that person was not hurt as bad as that car looks,'” Brinker said.
Also on Tuesday, a semitrailer drove off the right side of Lower River Road while heading upvalley at 12:30 p.m., and the Basalt Fire Department responded to the crash. According to the Colorado State Patrol, the truck was a small tractor-trailer used to pull mobile homes that ran off the road and ended up in the irrigation ditch.
There were no injuries in the accident, and the Grand Junction-based driver was given a ticket for careless driving.