Summit County bus crash results in attempted murder charge
Ryan Summerlin December 26, 2012
A man who police have accused of intentionally crashing his car into a Summit Stage bus in May, injuring several people, is set to appear in court Jan. 2 facing charges of attempted murder and several counts of assault.
Joshua Stephen Pierce, 32, was reportedly fighting with his on-again, off-again girlfriend when his car veered across Highway 6 and crashed into a Summit Stage bus, injuring his girlfriend as well as a 3-year-old and 15-year-old on the bus.
Pierce pleaded not guilty to the eight charges against him. A trial date will be set at the Jan. 2 arraignment hearing.
He is currently out on a $50,000 bond.
Attempts to locate Pierce for comment Wednesday were unsuccessful.
After the crash, Pierce reportedly told authorities his girlfriend grabbed the steering wheel of his Subaru and caused the car to strike the bus in an attempt to commit suicide, according to an arrest affidavit released by the district attorney.
But video taken inside the bus allegedly showed Pierce in full control of the steering wheel, his arms braced for impact, when he directed the vehicle from the left westbound lane on Highway 6 across the left turn lane and into the front of the bus, the affidavit states.
No part of the woman’s body was seen touching Pierce or the steering wheel, according to the affidavit.
She was airlifted to a Front Range hospital after suffering several broken bones, internal damage and a torn aorta in the collision.
No info was released regarding the condition of the other victims.
Officers who later contacted Pierce at Summit Medical Center reported he told them he drove his car into the bus on purpose in the midst of an argument with the woman in the car.
Pierce is charged with first-degree assault, attempt to commit murder in the second-degree, endangering public transportation, all class 3 felonies, as well as vehicular assault, a class 5 felony, and four counts of third-degree assault, a misdemeanor.
Charging documents characterize the crimes pertaining Pierce’s girlfriend as domestic violence.
If convicted, Pierce faces 10-32 years in prison for both the first-degree assault and attempted murder charges, 4-16 years for endangering public transportation and 1-3 years behind bars for the vehicular assault charge. Each of the third-degree assault charges carries a penalty of up to two years in county jail.