Driver of stolen vehicle crashes into Lakeside Amusement Park

The driver of a stolen truck crashed into a building at Lakeside Amusement Park on Wednesday morning, prompting police to launch a drone to search the park for the suspect, Lakeside Police Department officials said.

Shortly after 9 a.m., the Lakeside Police Department responded to a report that a truck traveling on Sheridan Boulevard had crashed into the east side of Lakeside Amusement Park, said Karl Ballard, the Lakeside Police Department’s assistant chief of police.

The white truck, which Ballard said resembled a construction vehicle, struck and damaged the corner of the historic Casino Theater building, just south of the park’s iconic Tower of Jewels. The truck also clipped a utility pole, which Ballard said is in the process of being replaced.

Witnesses to the crash told police that the driver fled into the park. Police determined the vehicle recently had been stolen out of Denver.

The Lakeside Police Department searched the sprawling amusement park and nearby areas.

“There are a lot of places to hide and also there’s actually an old race track amphitheater that is no longer in use, so there’s a lot of debris, vehicles and places to hide,” Ballard said.

To survey the area more effectively, Ballard said the police department used its drone to search for the suspect from the sky — but did not find the driver.

The truck was towed and the stolen vehicle case is under the Denver Police Department’s jurisdiction, Ballard said.

Wednesday’s incident was not the first time a vehicle has crashed into Lakeside in recent years.

In 2017, part of a parking structure on the north side of the Tower of Jewels collapsed after a car that police said was being driven recklessly crashed into it.

Representatives of Lakeside Amusement Park couldn’t immediately be reached for comment Wednesday.

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