Picking up the pieces
DILLON VALLEY – Late Thursday night, 17-year-old Dillon Valley resident Kelsey Todd poured herself a glass of water in her kitchen and headed to her bedroom. When she was halfway up the stairs, she heard the tires squeal.”I was about to keep going up to my bedroom so I could see what was going on, and then there was a huge crash, and the whole house shook,” she said.Kelsey returned down the stairs to find a truck in the middle of the kitchen where she had been standing only moments before. The truck plowed the refrigerator into the boiler room and knocked the granite countertops into the living room, where they flipped and pushed a couch into the television. The adjacent bathroom was also destroyed.”The bathtub was all in pieces. You couldn’t even tell it was a bathtub,” she said. “It’s lucky none of us got hurt, but it was really scary.”The green Ford F-250 in the kitchen at 814 Straight Creek Drive was driven by two Dillon teens who had been barreling down the road at about 85 miles per hour, according to the Colorado State Police. The truck jumped the curb, took out a small stand of trees in a neighbor’s yard, and collided broadside with the Todds’ 1996 Jeep Cherokee.
The Jeep was forced up against the home’s front door and rolled back into the yard, as the truck went through the kitchen and bathroom.”My first thought was, that’s the loudest thunder in the world,” said Greg Todd, Kelsey’s father, who was in bed when the crash occurred. “I was sound asleep, but I woke up real fast. The bed is 10 to 12 feet from where the truck came to rest.”The truck’s driver and passenger, whose names have not been released, were both injured. The driver was taken to St. Anthony’s Hospital and held overnight, according to Colorado State Patrol Cprl. Matt Ozanic. Alcohol is suspected in the crash.”I came up from Golden and it happens every now and then down there,” Ozanic said. “But up here, this is a first for me.”The case is now under investigation by Colorado State Patrol.
After the accident, Greg Todd, his wife, Jeannie, and their two daughters went to a friend’s house, where they stayed until 6 a.m. Friday morning. Then, the cleanup began.”I had 15 good construction hands and two general contractor friends who came to help. Metro Services gave us two dumptrucks. We took four trips to the dump and we were done by 10 a.m.,” Todd said.On Friday afternoon, a 9-foot by 7-foot hole in the side of the house was boarded up with plywood, and not one appliance, cabinet or fixture remained in the kitchen or bathroom. Todd had remodeled the rooms a year and a half ago.”We bought this house 19 years ago. I haven’t lived anywhere but Straight Creek Drive for the last 25 years,” Todd said. “It’s not a total loss. There’s still a lot of the house that’s good.”The Todds’ insurance company has arranged for the family to stay in a hotel room until it can find a house to rent while the home undergoes repairs.
“It can be fixed,” Todd said. “I have no idea on the extent of the damage. I need to have a structural engineer come take a look at the foundation. I’d like to say it’ll be done by Thanksgiving.”Todd said the anger he felt Friday night has given way to disappointment.”It’s senseless for these kids to do this to themselves,” he added. “Kids have to slow down and think. Thank God nobody got killed.”- Ryan Slabaugh contributed to this reportJulie Sutor can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 203, or at email@example.com.
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