Student receives 4 months in jail for Aspen area DUI crash
Shafigheh Lubin used to regularly ski, road bike and compete in ballroom dancing.
But that all ended in January 2016 when a University of Colorado student who’d been drinking and smoking marijuana at the Winter X Games lost control of his SUV in a blizzard on Highway 82, crossed the center line and struck her Mini Cooper head-on.
“I am not the same person,” Lubin, 53, said Tuesday before the college student who struck her was sentenced. “I am in pain every single day.
“I’m really suffering, and I will be like this for the rest of my life.”
Jack Galyon, the 21-year-old student who was at the wheel, was sentenced Tuesday to 180 days in jail with 60 days suspended for the incident, meaning he will serve four months in the Pitkin County Jail. He also will spend the next four years on probation, and his sobriety will be monitored.
District Judge Chris Seldin allowed Galyon, who pleaded guilty to DWAI and vehicular assault, to complete the current semester and report to jail May 12, the day after the semester ends.
For his part, Galyon took responsibility for his actions and repeatedly apologized to Lubin.
“She is owed a very long overdue apology,” Galyon said. “I wish I could take away this pain I’ve done to you. I’m so sorry for that.
“I can’t ask you to forgive me. What I’ve done is unforgiveable.”
Galyon told police he’d had two beers and a shot and smoked marijuana several hours before the crash. He also admitted he was driving too fast before the wreck, which occurred near Basalt. Galyon failed roadside sobriety tests and his breath-alcohol content was 0.13, said prosecutor Tony Hershey.
Police found a flask with an unknown alcoholic liquid inside, broken beer bottles and marijuana in Galyon’s SUV after the crash, according to police.
“(Lubin) could have been killed in this accident,” Hershey said. “She easily could have been paralyzed. It’s inexcusable.”
Lubin said she suffered broken arms, a broken ankle, a broken femur and three fractured vertebrae in her spine. She had three surgeries the night of the crash and then spent 21 days in the hospital recovering, Lubin said. After that, “I was in prison in my condo on the third floor for four months,” she said.
“My husband died eight years ago,” Lubin said. “I did it all without any help.”
Several members of Galyon’s family attended Tuesday’s sentencing hearing, and his mother and older sister spoke on his behalf.
“He knows he did a horrible thing,” said Amanda Hall, his sister. “He knows it will haunt him for the rest of his life.”
Diane Galyon, his mother, described her son as a “loving, easy-going” young man with lots of friends and a talent for math and science. Jack Galyon is now a junior at the University of Colorado in Boulder majoring in chemical and biological engineering, she said.
“He has a big heart and would give you his last dollar if you needed it,” Diane Galyon said. “He is not a terrible guy, but a guy who did a terrible, terrible thing.”
Both women apologized to Lubin, as well.
Prosecutors in the case had agreed, as part of the plea deal, not to object to a sentence recommended by the probation department. However, Judge Seldin said he was not comfortable with the 13 days of jail a probation officer recommended, and planned to give him more jail time. That break from the plea deal would have allowed Galyon to withdraw his plea.
However, after a recess Jack Galyon agreed to accept the 120-day jail term.
“I take full responsibility for my actions,” Jack Galyon said. “(The accident occurred) because of my sheer stupidity to get behind the wheel that night.”
Seldin said he thought Jack Galyon was sincere.
“I believe Mr. Galyon is genuinely remorseful,” Seldin said. “I believe he accepts responsibility for what he’s done.”
However, Lubin’s life “is irrevocably changed,” which is “a horrible, horrible loss,” he said.
“I believe the appropriate sentence is significant time of confinement,” Seldin said. “That is what a crime that seriously injures another human being deserves, in my opinion.”
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Social media sites exploded with activity on Monday night as locals posted pictures of a mushroom cloud formation visible from most of Pitkin, Eagle and Garfield counties.