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Crash In Summit County Forces Evacuations After Gas Line Breaks

SILVERTHORNE, Colo. (CBS4) - Silverthorne residents are back in their homes after a pickup crashed into a house and crushed a natural gas line in Summit County. The driver is recovering from his injuries.

"Left my office on my way home and ended up here," said Jim Neville who was behind the wheel of the truck when it crashed.

The crash happened on Rainbow Drive just after 7 p.m. Wednesday. No one was inside the home at the time, the people who purchased the home were planning on moving in this week.

"A pickup truck swerved off the road and crashed through the closed garage door of the unoccupied home," Steve Lipsher with Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue said in a statement.

(credit: Lake Dillon Fire)

Neville, a longtime Silverthorne resident, and his son worked to remove his truck from inside his neighbor's home on Thursday.

"I remember very little," said Neville as he described driving home Wednesday night with his wife. "She was pulling on the steering wheel, she said I was just clenched to the steering wheel."

Crews evacuated people in a radius of several blocks around the crash scene while Xcel Energy cut off the gas.

"We're very fortunate that we didn't have a worse problem on our hands," said Lake Dillon Fire Chief Jeff Berino. "Thanks to everyone in the neighborhood who took seriously the 'rotten egg' smell of natural gas and cooperated with our efforts to prevent an explosion or fire."

Neighbors were allowed back into their homes a few hours later.

Neville was taken to the hospital where he says his hurt pride is probably his worst injury, "They checked me out, put some staples in my old hard head and threw me out."

Neville is happy no one was seriously hurt. He has also promised his wife he will return to his doctor for a complete physical before he gets behind the wheel again.

Police said no charges will be filed in this case. The homeowners will have to wait before moving in until the hole can be repaired.

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