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Man arrested after crash that could have resulted in electrocution

Crime Watch

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Kolby Kozloff | Butte County Sheriff’s Office

ARCO — A near-fatal crash into a power pole, an allegation of rape, and a woman foaming at the mouth are part of the Butte County Sheriff’s Office investigation into what happened the night of Nov. 1.

Between midnight and 2 a.m. on Nov. 2, a man in a tan sedan dropped off a 23-year-old woman at a house in Arco.

The woman’s friends struggled to wake her and saw a large amount of a black substance come from her mouth. They were concerned the woman had been raped, and they called 911 around 10:30 a.m.

Emergency Medical Services rushed the woman to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls. In addition to foaming at the mouth and being barely conscious, she had a cracked sternum, bruised lungs and extensive bruising.

What happened?

At the center of the Butte County Sheriff’s Office’s investigation is 19-year-old Kolby Kozloff.

“A green SUV driven by Kozloff picked (the victim) up from the residence (earlier in the night),” witnesses said, according to a deputy’s report.

After an ambulance took the woman to EIRMC, deputies found Kozloff at his home with several scratches and bruises on his face. He reportedly told deputies he got them from skateboarding and said the night before he drove his Ford Explorer with his friend and a woman he didn’t know.

“Kozloff stated that he was just driving around town … and that he didn’t remember much other than cruising around,” the deputy writes. “Kozloff began to shake very rapidly with me asking questions.”

During the investigation, deputies found the green SUV slammed into a power pole on the Number Hill outside of Arco. The severely damaged SUV was the only thing holding up the pole. Deputies found several containers of Budweiser beer and a strong odor of alcohol.

In a follow-up interview, Kozloff told a deputy he, his friend and the woman were driving up the hill, but he wasn’t drunk like everyone else. He said he swerved when he saw an animal in the road, and he slammed into the pole. He and the other man were wearing a seat belt, but not the woman, according to court documents.

Bonneville Power told deputies that had the damaged power pole fell, all of Arco, Mackay, Challis, Stanley and Salmon would have lost power, and electricity would have killed everyone in the vehicle.

The man with Kozloff and the woman confirmed the story. She said he used his grandmother’s car — a tan sedan — to take everyone home.

“Kozloff stated he was scared to call the police because he did not want to get in trouble,” the deputy writes.

According to court documents, the 19-year-old tested presumptively positive for drinking alcohol in a urinalysis test, and he also admitted to consuming alcohol the night of the crash.

Court documents do not detail if deputies believe the woman was raped. She was released from the hospital the day after the crash.

Kozloff is charged with felony aggravated driving under the influence and felony leaving the scene of an accident with an injury or death. The sheriff’s office booked Kozloff into the jail, where he posted the $40,000 bond. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Nov. 14.

If convicted, he could spend up to 20 years in prison with a mandatory 30 days in the county jail.

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