Teen driver in fatal Missouri Heights crash may be released on $4,000 bond
Glenwood Springs Post Independent
The driver in a Missouri Heights car crash that killed one area teenager and injured another admitted taking five or six shots of vodka before driving Friday night, according to court documents.
Jesse Lloyd, 18, of Carbondale, had a breath alcohol content of 0.15 after the crash, which is nearly double the legal driving limit, according to an arrest warrant affidavit filed in Garfield County District Court.
In addition, Lloyd was on probation for burglarizing three marijuana dispensaries in Basalt and Carbondale in April 2018 with at least one other person, prosecutor Tony Hershey said.
On Monday, Lloyd was ordered held in lieu of a $4,000 bond after he appeared in District Court in Glenwood Springs.
Lloyd is charged with felony vehicular homicide and two counts of vehicular assault, as well as driving under the influence and third degree assault, both misdemeanors. He’s also charged with possession/consumption of alcohol as a minor in connection with the fatal crash in Missouri Heights near Carbondale on Friday night.
Lloyd told a Colorado State Patrol trooper at the hospital after the crash that he had consumed “five or six shots of vodka” starting at 9:30 and ending about 10 p.m., according to court documents. The crash was first reported at 11:38 p.m.
A breathalyzer test indicated Lloyd’s blood-alcohol content was 0.153, according to the affidavit. The legal limit in Colorado is 0.08. Lloyd also had “bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and a strong odor” of alcohol, the trooper wrote in the affidavit.
Hershey noted in court that Lloyd was not initially charged with operating a vehicle with a suspended license. However, his driver’s license was suspended prior to the accident so that charge could be included, Hershey said.
Lloyd also was on probation from juvenile court “on a very serious burglary,” Hershey said, without specifying details of that case.
Later, Hershey confirmed that Lloyd was one of at least two men who threw an object through the front window of Roots Rx in Basalt in April 2018. Video showed two men, possibly wearing pillow cases over their heads, trying to open the business’ front door, but it was locked, Basalt police said at the time.
The same two men also broke windows at Aspen Roaring Fork Wellness in Holland Hills, though no marijuana was taken from that business, police said. Finally, video from a Carbondale dispensary showed two young males throwing rocks through the business’ front window.
Prosecutors Monday requested $5,000 bond, in part due to concerns for safety. Lloyd and the others involved in the crash “were obviously not supervised properly,” Hershey said.
Representing Lloyd in court, attorney Lawson Wills said his client was not a flight risk, and had family and deep ties to the community. Wills requested a personal recognizance bond, which does not include cash bail.
“Obviously, this is a very serious case,” Wills said. Lloyd would have the support of his family, who would abide by any stipulations to the release, Wills said.
Magistrate Susan Ryan said the $4,000 bond was justified due to the charges and the possible impact to public safety. There was no protection order, but Lloyd is required to submit to drug and alcohol testing as a condition of bond.
During the late-Friday crash along County Road 102, also known as Fender Lane, two of the five people in the car were ejected from the vehicle Lloyd was allegedly driving.
The car reportedly rounded a curve and struck a large rock, rolled and two occupants not wearing seatbelts were ejected, according to Colorado State Patrol spokesman Ivan Alvarado.
One of the passengers who was ejected, Tyler Ribich, 16, a junior at Basalt High School, died as a result of the injuries. Joel Rothman, 19, “suffered serious bodily injury” after being ejected from the vehicle, according to an affidavit for Lloyd’s arrest.
Henry Twitchell, 18, who was not ejected from the vehicle, also suffered serious injury. The fourth occupant, who is 17, reported the crash and did not suffer serious injury, according to court records.
Lloyd’s next court appearance, where prosecutors will return formal filing of charges, is scheduled for May 30.
Aspen Times reporter Jason Auslander contributed to this story.
Editor’s note: This story was updated with the correct first name of one of the passengers, Joel Rothman.
A district court judge Thursday dismissed the remaining criminal counts against the owner of a Basalt-based chiropractor office who had been under grand-jury indictment for allegedly cooperating with one of his massage therapists accused of sexually assaulting clients.