Amusement Park Structure Collapses After Crash, Felony Charges Expected

By Dillon Thomas

DENVER (CBS) – The historic Lakeside Amusement Park will have to replace a parking structure after a 34-year-old man crashed his car into the pillar of the structure.

Lakewood police told CBS4 Rudolph Garcia crashed his car into the amusement park after fleeing from police earlier Friday night.

Lakewood police agent Rob Albrets said an officer attempted to stop a black Acura, allegedly driven by Garcia, for a minor traffic offense. When the officer turned his police unit’s lights on, Garcia allegedly drove away at speeds reaching at least 100 miles per hour.

img 0436 Amusement Park Structure Collapses After Crash, Felony Charges Expected

(credit: CBS)

Per Lakewood police policy, the officer did not chase Garcia.

With assistance from several agencies, including the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, the car was later located at the collapsed structure.

“It seems like the driver, even after the officer shut off his lights and sirens and stopped following him, continued to drive in a reckless manner leading up to this wreck,” Albrets said.

Jefferson County deputies identified the crashed car as the same vehicle which had fled from Lakewood police.

Garcia, whose arrest record shows a long list of traffic offenses, was transported to the hospital.

Lakewood police said Garcia would face charges including felony eluding, driving under the influence, reckless driving and driving as a habitual traffic offender. Due to his criminal background, and evading police Friday, Albrets said Garcia would also face felony DUI charges.

Although Lakeside Amusement Park will have to fix the collapsed structure, Albrets said the confrontation ended well with a suspect apprehension.

“All in all, we are very lucky that no innocent people were hurt. And no officers were hurt,” Albrets said.

Dillon Thomas is a reporter at CBS4 and a Colorado native. He believes everyone has a story, and would love to share yours! You can find more of his stories by following him on Twitter, @DillonMThomas.

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