Teen faces auto theft, other charges from Saturday car chase

Tense weekend incident briefly closed I-70 west of Glenwood Springs

Staff report

A teenager is charged with auto theft, attempted vehicular assault and other charges stemming from a chase Saturday evening that briefly closed Interstate 70 west of Glenwood Springs and created some tense moments when the driver initially didn’t obey commands to get out of his vehicle.

The incident began in Parachute and ended 3 miles west of Glenwood Springs. Parachute officers were initially alerted to a white truck with a flatbed and a welder on back, with “parts were falling from the back of the truck as it traveled erratically down the highway,” according to the Garfield County Sherrif’s Office.

When the driver failed to stop for Parachute police, Garfield County deputies joined the pursuit and deployed spike strips outside of Silt. With its rear tires deflated, the vehicle traveled another 13 miles to mile marker 110.5 where it finally stopped.

Initially hesitant to leave the vehicle, the 16-year-old driver got out of the truck after several commands from officers and was cooperative after that. He was arrested and medical workers were contacted to check on his well-being.

The driver, who was the only person in truck, was in custody shortly after 9:30 p.m.

I-70 was temporarily closed to ensure the safety of the public, the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office said. Eastbound lanes were closed for 25 to 30 minutes to allow for the removal of debris from the incident.

Parachute police said the juvenile, whose name was not made public, is charged with aggravated motor vehicle theft, criminal attempted vehicular assault, eluding and traffic violations.