Glenwood Springs teenager faces six counts, including vehicular homicide, in Carbondale crash

Prosecutors have filed multiple charges of vehicular homicide and vehicular assault against Gerardo Banda, a 19-year-old from Glenwood Springs arrested after a wreck near Carbondale that killed a 17-year-old girl.

He faces six counts total, two for vehicular homicide and four for vehicular assault. One of the vehicular assault counts is related to driving under the influence, and the other is related to reckless driving. Banda is still in custody, his bond set at $75,000. Glenwood Springs attorney Jason Jovanovich has entered the case as Banda’s attorney.

The most severe count, vehicular homicide while driving under the influence, carries a potential prison sentence of four to 12 years, or 24 years if aggravated circumstances are found. It also carries fines up to $750,000.

Authorities arrested Banda after the wreck, which is suspected to have involved alcohol and which resulted in the death of 17-year-old Ayleen Ruiz Alvarado.

On the night of May 14  on Thompson Creek Road just west of Carbondale, Banda lost control of his sedan while trying to pass another vehicle and rolled into a 200-foot ravine, according to Colorado State Patrol.

The car held six young people; Ruiz Alvarado and Banda were reportedly ejected in the crash. All surviving occupants were transported to the Valley View Hospital for treatment. After he was transported to the hospital, authorities say Banda’s blood alcohol content was found to be .115.

At the hospital, asked what had happened, Banda “advised me that he was trying to avoid a car and next thing he knew he was in a creek,” a trooper wrote in his report. “Mr. Banda also stated it was all his fault and that he lost a friend.”

The 19-year-old told officers that he’d drank only a can of Modelo beer.

He’ll next be in district court June 15.