News in Brief
Man arrested driving to court appearanceASPEN Aspen police again cited a man for driving with a revoked license as he was on his way to a court date for the same offense Tuesday.Matthew Hildebrandt, 42, of Grand Junction, was on his way to Pitkin County Court when police pulled him over Tuesday morning in Aspen. Police allegedly found less than an ounce of marijuana and a pipe in his vehicle. He was issued tickets for driving under restraint, driving as a habitual offender, possession of less than an ounce of marijuana and possession of marijuana paraphernalia. Police did not say how Hildebrandt eventually made his way to court for his hearing Tuesday.Police seek cyclist in hit-and-runASPEN Police are seeking a bicyclist who allegedly cut off a motorcycle and caused a crash on Saturday. Aspen patrol officer Leon Murray said the motorcycle and bicycle were traveling south on a street near Herron Park when the bicyclist cut in front of the motorcyclist. Murray said the motorcyclist only had two options – either hitting the bicycle or crashing. The driver of the motorcycle lost most of the skin on his left forearm and suffered significant road rash on his calf and pelvis. Multiple witnesses saw the crash, and police have a name and a solid description of the man who allegedly left the scene of the accident. Murray said he hopes the cyclist will turn himself in.Rain plays role in fire, wreckPITKIN COUNTY Heavy, spotty rain played a role in snuffing a small wildfire and possibly causing an accident on Highway 82 in separate incidents downvalley Tuesday, authorities said.There was a report of a wildfire at 3:17 p.m. in the Shield-O-Mesa area, in the hills above Snowmass Creek Road. A lightning strike ignited a tree and a fire spread to dry grass, said Basalt fire chief Scott Thompson.Some surveyors working in the area teamed with property owners to contain and eventually extinguish the flames before fire crews arrived, he said. They were aided by light rain in the area, according to Thompson.Heavier rain might have played a part in an accident about one mile east of Basalt on Highway 82. There was a collision between a dump truck, Roto-Rooter vehicle and a pickup at about 5 p.m. All three vehicles were headed downvalley.A witness who arrived at the scene shortly after the accident said the dump truck did “a 180” in the highway. The vehicles stayed on their wheels.Five people were treated and released at the scene, and no one was transported to the hospital, Thompson said.The fire chief said he couldn’t speculate on what occurred, and an investigator from the Colorado State Patrol was unavailable. Thompson noted heavy rain in the area around the time of the accident and that traffic had slowed to a crawl.One lane of downvalley-bound traffic was closed temporarily during the cleanup, but commuter traffic was snarled for a couple of hours after the accident. One commuter reported that her bus came to a halt in traffic at Old Snowmass around 5:45 p.m., then sat unmoving for about 45 minutes.Second fire strikes Silt MesaSILT MESA – A wildfire burned roughly one to two acres Tuesday evening about a mile north of where a larger fire had burned just two evenings earlier.Tuesday’s fire occurred along Harvey Gap Road in the gulch just below Harvey Gap Reservoir, outside of Silt. Brit McLin, chief of the Burning Mountains Fire Protection District, said firefighters were called at 7:33 p.m. and the fire probably was under control by 8:30 or 9 p.m.No structures were threatened by the fire. Investigators have not identified its cause.Authorities also were unable to pinpoint the cause of Sunday’s fire, which had several points of origin. Theories range from arson to a vehicle throwing off sparks from a flat tire or dragging a trailer chain.That fire burned three automobiles and threatened some homes in the Harvey Gap Road area.McLin said there had been lightning in the Silt area Tuesday, but he’s guessing that probably wasn’t the cause of Tuesday’s fire or it would have been apparent to firefighters.McLin said that as with Sunday’s fire, firefighters were lucky with the weather Tuesday and the blaze didn’t significantly spread.The Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit assisted in fighting the fire. (Glenwood Springs Post Independent)
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