AP NEWS

Suspect in Allenspark DUI Crash Formally Charged As Cyclist Has ‘long Recovery Ahead’

March 22, 2019
Amber Okuley

An Allenspark woman accused of hitting a bicyclist on Colo. 7 while driving under the influence was formally charged Wednesday, while the cyclist she hit has a “long recovery ahead.”

Amber Michelle Okuley, 32, was formally charged with vehicular assault - driving under the influence, DUI, careless driving resulting in injury, and failure to present evidence of insurance. The vehicular assault charge is a Class 4 felony with a possible prison sentence of two to six years, while the other charges are misdemeanors and traffic offenses.

Okuley was released on a $5,000 personal recognizance bond and is set for a status conference on April 8.

According to an affidavit, the Colorado State Patrol responded to a crash between a Jeep Cherokee and a bicyclist near the 23 mile marker of Colo. 7 at 3:32 p.m. Sunday.

Troopers said it appeared Okuley was driving the Jeep west on Colo. 7 when she lost control and veered to the right and then overcorrected into the opposite lane, striking a cyclist headed east.

Okuley, who identified herself as the driver of the Jeep, said she was going home to Allenspark when she lost control of her vehicle, but said she “does not know why” she swerved.

According to the affidavit, Okuley did admit to having four drinks at Oskar Blues in Lyons in the approximately three hours before she started driving. The trooper noted she smelled of alcohol and failed roadside maneuvers.

Troopers also said skid mark analysis indicated Okuley was driving “much faster” than the posted 35 mph speed limit.

The two cyclists riding with Salsich both said they did not see the crash, while Okuley’s passenger said he was “half asleep” during the drive and also appeared to be intoxicated.

The cyclist, identified in the affidavit as Mary Salsich, was airlifted to Longmont United Hospital with serious injuries. A Facebook page called ” Mary’s Road to Recovery ” was started Wednesday to raise money for her medical costs and to update people on her condition.

“We appreciate all the positivity and well wishes from everyone,” Salsich’s daughter Niki wrote in the post. “All the love, positivity and encouragement is what Mary will need in this time of recovery. We have had many requests to visit. At this time, she needs rest for her long recovery ahead.”

Mitchell Byars: 303-473-1329, byarsm@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/mitchellbyars