Drunken driver suspected cause of I-70 causes accident
SUMMIT COUNTY – An alleged drunken driver going the wrong way on Interstate 70 late Friday night caused a three-vehicle accident that injured eight people and involved one cadaver.
According to law enforcement officials, Richard Andrew Miller of Silverthorne was allegedly driving west on eastbound I-70 between Silverthorne and Frisco, without headlights, when he collided with a vehicle carrying a family of five just after midnight Friday.
Chris Hegmann, co-owner of Hegmann Funeral Services of Idaho Springs, reportedly flipped his SUV while trying to avoid the collision. Hegmann was carrying the body of Julie Marshall of Denver, who died while hiking Quandary Peak on Friday.
The eight people involved all suffered varying injuries, though none was serious. The family with three children was taken to the Summit Medical Center (SMC), while Hegmann and Miller refused treatment, said Deputy Julie Polly of the Summit County Sheriff’s Office.
Summit County Coroner Dave Joslin, who responded to the accident to help transport Marshall to the funeral home in Idaho Springs, said the body was not affected by the crash.
Miller was taken to the SMC to test for blood-alcohol levels – the results are pending, Polly said. Miller was jailed without bond and is facing numerous charges, including DUI, reckless and careless driving, no proof of insurance, driving without a valid license, driving without headlights, reckless endangerment and three charges of child abuse.
According to the arresting officer’s affidavit, Miller smelled strongly of alcohol and told law enforcement officials he was on his way home and did not know what happened.
The highway was closed for approximately an hour and a half after the accident occurred.
Lu Snyder can be reached at 970-668-3998 x203 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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