Woman blames moths for fiery Colorado car crash

Reuters News
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Posted: May 02, 2012 7:28 PM
Woman blames moths for fiery Colorado car crash

DENVER (Reuters) - An 18-year-old Colorado woman who survived a fiery crash in her sport utility vehicle told authorities she lost control and struck a tree after being distracted by fluttering moths, police said on Wednesday.

The woman, who was not identified by authorities, was driving her GMC Denali in Colorado Springs on Tuesday when she veered off the road and crashed, according to a police blotter entry.

As gasoline poured from a ruptured fuel line, passing motorists pulled her out of the driver's side window before the car burst into flames. The woman suffered only minor injuries and told investigators that she had been distracted by miller moths flying around inside the SUV, police said.

"Drugs or alcohol were not determined to be factors in the accident," a police spokesman said. There was no immediate word on how many moths were in the vehicle.

Miller moths, the adult stage of army cutworms, take flight by the millions each spring when they emerge from the alfalfa and wheat fields of western Kansas, eastern Colorado and other plains states.

The gray or light-brown moths, which have a wingspan of 1.5 to 2 inches, pass through Colorado's urban corridor as they migrate west to feed on the nectar of wildflowers in the Rocky Mountains during the summer months.

Those moths that survive predators, including birds, bats and bears, return to the plains in the fall.

(Reporting by Keith Coffman; Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Eric Walsh)