Camper occupant injured and driver arrested after crash |

Camper occupant injured and driver arrested after crash

Thomas Phippen
Glenwood Springs Post Independent

A 61-year-old male was seriously injured Monday evening when the camper trailer in which he was riding behind an SUV rolled over as the rig was attempting to make a turn from Colorado Highway 82. The driver was arrested for vehicular assault and felony charges from a previous case.

The accident happened about 6:58 p.m. Monday near mile marker 11 westbound, according to Colorado State Patrol Trooper Josh Lewis.

A 1994 Isuzu SUV driven by Jeffrey Sween, 51, of Grand Junction, was slowing to make a left turn off of 82 when he drove off the left side of the road and began to swerve, causing the camper to disconnect and roll over, Lewis said.

Sween and another passenger in the SUV, age 43, were not injured, and Sween was able to pull the vehicle to the shoulder. However, the male riding in the camper did sustain serious injuries and was taken by ambulance to Valley View Hospital with undisclosed injuries. His name was not released by State Patrol on Tuesday.

Allowing a passenger in a trailer is illegal, which resulted in charges against Sween, who also faces charges of vehicular assault, reckless driving, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and failing to provide proof of insurance.

He was also charged with felony failure to appear and for violating bond conditions, also a felony, and for violating a restraining order, a misdemeanor. His bond was set at $10,000.

Following the crash, the right lane of 82 was closed for several hours while the camper was removed and the scene was cleared. The crash did not result in a full traffic closure, Lewis said, and the right lane was reopened shortly after midnight.

injury in earlier accident, too

Earlier in the day Monday, a single tractor-trailer crash on westbound Highway 82 near mile marker 14 also resulted in what Lewis described as moderate injuries to the driver and caused a lane closure for a period of time.

That wreck happened at about 2:36 p.m., he said. The driver of the semi, Johnnie Ramirez, 41, of Carbondale, was taken to Valley View Hospital.