Two suspects have been arrested in the accident last week in which a pickup truck crashed through a woman's trailer in Star Valley.
The suspects, a 17-year-old female and 19-year-old Kenneth Hutchings, are awaiting formal charges related to the incident, according to the Gila County Sheriff's Department. Hutchings, who had been in jail on an unrelated charge, bonded out and was free as of Tuesday morning. The teen-age girl was transferred to the juvenile detention facility in Globe.
Detectives said that on the evening of Dec. 22, the two suspects allegedly stole a blue 1981 Ford 4WD pickup truck form a Star Valley home for a brief joy ride. The ride ended around 9:45 p.m., when they cut the corner at Moonlight and Rainbow drives in Star Valley too close, launching the truck through the living room of 70-year-old Norma Spaur.
Spaur told deputies that normally she would have been sitting on the couch in her living room --the same spot the truck crashed through --at the time the accident took place, but a headache forced her to bed about 30 minutes before the crash.
The suspects fled the scene, but investigators said they had an idea who the female was.
"We had an officer end up chasing her twice the same day," said Det. George Ratliff. "She kept running."
Detectives then got a tip of where the teen would be at a certain time, and she was picked up. Hutchings was arrested the following day on an unrelated charge. Officials said neither suspect would admit to being the driver.
"He's saying she was driving, she's saying he was driving," Ratliff said. Investigators are now analyzing evidence that should clear up who was behind the wheel, he said.
Formal charges related to the accident could range from theft, criminal damage, criminal trespass, burglary, endangerment and leaving the scene of an accident, officials said.
In the meantime, Spaur is adjusting to her new temporary home at the Lamplighter RV Park in Star Valley, where she and her daughter are staying while they sort through the accident with her insurance company.