Vehicle crashes into Silverthorne apartment building, prompting evacuation and displacing several residents |

Vehicle crashes into Silverthorne apartment building, prompting evacuation and displacing several residents

The small SUV caused a gas leak when it crashed into the building, broke a utility line and pushed into a woman watching TV on the other side of the wall, according to Silverthorne police

A small SUV crashed into a Blue River Apartment building Sunday, May 7, according to the Silverthorne Police Department, breaking a gas line and prompting the evacuation of several buildings in the area.

No one was seriously injured when the driver of a Nissan Murano backed into one of several apartment buildings in the complex off Adams Avenue around 8:30 p.m., Silverthorne Police Assistant Chief Rachel Dunaway said.

About 75-100 people were evacuated from five or six buildings as a result of the gas leak, Dunaway said, and the residents of two units were displaced from the building that was hit directly. 

Summit Fire & EMS spokesperson Steve Lipsher said in a text message that the displaced parties include three families and a cat. The Blue River Apartments complex consists of two- and three- bedroom units distributed between several buildings, according to the apartment complex’s website.

The American Red Cross helped secure temporary lodging for the displaced residents, who chose not to return to the apartment after the fire department secured the damaged wall, Dunaway said.

The vehicle struck the side of the building, she added, breaking a gas line and pushing a woman watching TV on her couch violently forward, causing her neck pain that was treated on scene. Utility crews from Xcel Energy reportedly turned the gas off that night.

According to Dunaway, the driver told police he was parked in a parking spot and didn’t realize the vehicle was in reverse when he reached across the car to grab a bottle of water, accidentally stepping on the gas, hopping the curb and smashing into the structure.

A little more than an hour after the crash, residents of the undamaged apartment buildings were allowed to return to their units, Dunaway said. The residents of the apartment building that was hit were allowed to return around midnight.

Dunaway said she does not believe alcohol or drugs factored into the crash but that the driver is expected to face charges.

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