Police: Drunken man crashes stolen car on Main Street | AspenTimes.com

Police: Drunken man crashes stolen car on Main Street

Chad Abraham
Hotel Jerome employee Mike Gert takes a picture of the damage done to one of the hotels vehicles. The accident occurred on Main Street in front of the Jerome on Wednesday afternoon. Aspen Times photo/Jim Noelker.
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Police say a man who stole a Jeep from a welding shop caused a three-vehicle wreck in front of the Hotel Jerome yesterday afternoon.Rocky Lee Willicuts, 41, of Glenwood Springs, was allegedly drunk when he drove the Jeep at a high rate of speed south on Mill Street. He apparently tried to turn right on Main Street, nearly hit cars turning left onto Mill from Main, overcorrected and clipped the front of a Cadillac Escalade in front of the hotel lobby. The Jeep then smashed into the back of one of the hotel’s Suburbans, which rolled into the car in front of it. A Jerome employee was inside the Suburban cleaning its windows but was unhurt.

Willicuts was the only one hospitalized after his head hit the windshield. He was treated then taken to jail. Charlie Martin, Aspen police’s community safety supervisor, was one of the first on the scene.”That Escalade’s not there, there’s a chance he goes into the J-Bar,” he said.

Aspen police Detective Chris Womack said bellhops had driven the Escalade out of the hotel’s parking garage for its owners moments before the accident happened around 3 p.m.Wisps of smoke emanated from the hood of the Jeep, which didn’t appear to be otherwise badly damaged. The left side of the windshield was a spider web of cracked glass. The back of the Suburban, including its ski racks and bumper, were smashed.

Martin said he “suspected that [Willicuts] had been drinking.” He also said that he spoke with the Jeep’s owner, who told him he had left the vehicle at a downvalley welding shop two weeks ago. A half-empty bottle of vodka was allegedly found in the Jeep.Womack said the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office is investigating whether to charge Willicuts with motor vehicle theft. Willicuts will be charged with DUI, driving with suspended insurance and reckless driving resulting in property damage and injuries – “his own,” Womack said.Chad Abraham’s e-mail address is chad@aspentimes.com


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