Woman admits driving into Aspen pond, then crashing hotel van
June 28, 2017
A Glenwood Springs woman who was not supposed to be driving admitted to accidentally backing her car into a pond at Aspen Meadows early Monday morning and taking a hotel shuttle parked nearby, which she later crashed into a wall, according to court documents released Wednesday.
Elizabeth Bergquist, 24, also attempted to report her car stolen Monday, though quickly admitted that she was at the wheel when the 2006 Chevrolet Malibu went into the pond.
"It was me," Bergquist told an Aspen police officer after he confronted her about her involvement in the incident, according to an affidavit filed in Aspen District Court.
Bergquist turned herself in at the Pitkin County Jail on Wednesday and was charged with felony aggravated motor vehicle theft and a slew of misdemeanors, including false reporting to authorities, driving with a revoked license, trespassing, two counts of failure to report an accident and two counts of striking another vehicle or property.
Police first learned of the car in the pond early Monday, when a detective responded to the scene and found a prescription bottle with Bergquist's name on it and a small marijuana container floating in the pond, the affidavit states. Another officer looked around the area and found a pair of wet socks and another small marijuana container about 200 yards from the pond in a roundabout at the Meadows.
Later, a Meadows employee reported that another worker discovered an Aspen Meadows van with the engine still running parked on a walking path south of the Doerr-Hosier Center about 4 a.m. Monday, according to the affidavit. Employees later discovered scratches on the van's front bumper and a set of keys in the center console to a Chevrolet vehicle.
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Then about 11:20 a.m. Monday morning, Bergquist called police and said her car had been stolen after being parked in front of Paradise Bakery, the affidavit states. However, that story didn't last long before Aspen police Officer Forrest Barnett confronted Bergquist and she admitted her involvement.
She told police she'd gotten off work in Aspen at midnight and driven to the Meadows to meet friends. However, she got lost and ended up in the pond after trying to back out of the dead-end area, according to the affidavit.
Afterward, she removed her socks and entered the Meadows van, which was unlocked with the keys inside, to stay warm, the affidavit states.
"Bergquist said she moved the Aspen Meadows van because she didn't want anyone seeing her sitting in the van," according to the affidavit. While she said she wasn't trying to steal the van, she admitted hitting a wall while driving down the walking path.
She also said the marijuana found on scene was hers, the affidavit states. A Meadows employee estimated damage to the van at between $850 and $1,150.
After warming up, Bergquist said she walked to a bus stop and caught a downvalley bus to Glenwood Springs.
"Bergquist said that she had been sober during the entire incident," according to the affidavit. "Bergquist said that she had not called authorities because she was embarrassed and didn't want to get into trouble."
Bergquist's license was revoked because of a DUI arrest in June 2016 in Greeley, the affidavit states.
A message left for Bergquist seeking comment Wednesday was not returned.