ASPEN, Colo. (CBS4) – Former professional cyclist Lance Armstrong was issued two traffic tickets after allegedly striking two parked cars and then fleeing the scene with his girlfriend — who told police she was the driver to avoid national headlines.
Armstrong was issued the two traffic citations in January after he and part-time Aspen resident and girlfriend, Anna Hansen, were allegedly involved in a hit-and-run accident reported on Dec. 29, the Aspen Daily News first reported. Aspen police later provided the accident report and pictures from the scene.
The pair also allegedly lied about whether the disgraced former pro cyclist had been drinking. Hansen initially confessed to police that she had been driving, but the tickets were transferred to Armstrong on Jan. 12 following police investigation.
Police were initially called to West Francis Street on Dec. 29 by a homeowner who said he was the victim of a hit-and-run accident from the night before. Robert Schafer, a community safety officer, found the suspected SUV with significant front-end damage and license plates showing Armstrong’s ownership of the vehicle.
When approached by authorities, Hansen reportedly said she was behind the wheel.
“Hansen told us that she was driving home from an Aspen Art Museum party the previous night,” Aspen Police Det. Rick Magnuson wrote in the police report. “Hansen told me that she drove the GMC home because ‘Lance had a little bit to drink so I was driving. I was not drinking.’”
She told police she lost control of the vehicle and struck the parked cars on West Francis Street before she and the uninjured Armstrong told the homeowner they would pay for the damage.
“She said, ‘I’m Anna, we’re the Armstrongs, my husband’s Lance, he was just driving too fast around the corner or something,’” the homeowner’s report to police says. She allegedly added, “‘We’re so sorry, we came around the corner and slipped on the ice, and we hit your cars.’”
“Hansen added that she believed that she completed her legal obligation after providing her information to [the homeowner],” Magnuson wrote. “I informed Hansen that she was required to immediately notify the police of an accident and return to or remain at the scene. Hansen told me that she was unaware of this law.”
A valet from the St. Regis Aspen Resort, though, told detectives “Armstrong entered the driver’s side and drove away from the St. Regis” that evening.
On Dec. 31, Hansen acknowledged to investigators that Armstrong had been driving but that she gave her own name and contact information to the homeowner.
“I asked Hansen if Armstrong asked her to take the blame for the accident once they got home,” Magnuson wrote. “She replied, ‘No, that was a joint decision, and, um, you know we’ve had our family name smeared over every paper in the world in the last couple of years and honestly, I’ve got teenagers, I just wanted to protect my family because I thought, ‘Gosh, Anna Hansen hit some cars, it’s not going to show up in the papers, but Lance Armstrong hit some cars, it’s going to be a national story.’”
She also recanted that Armstrong was intoxicated at the time of the incident.
Hansen apologized to police for “just trying to make something up at that time,” and deputy district attorney Andrea Bryan said Hansen won’t be charged with anything if she maintains her confession.