• First 2015 Dodge Challenger Hellcat sold in Colorado – Crashed

    2015, dodge, hellcat, crash, colorado
    2015 Dodge Challenger Hellcat (provided by: BN)

    First 2015 Dodge Challenger Hellcat sold in Colorado crashed within a few miles from the dealership.

    There are those dangerous stretches of road that have a bad history, and this crash took place at precisely such a location.

    [UPDATE: The following is according to a report by the Colorado State Patrol (CSP).

    This crash took place at 8:07pm MST on December 19th, 2014. The 2015 Dodge Challenger Hellcat driver, 34-year-old Lance Utley of Winter Park, CO, was traveling northbound on Riverdale Rd. The driver lost control to the right, then overcorrected and lost control to the left, and struck a tree head on. There were two additional occupants in the vehicle. The driver was charged with careless driving. Drugs or alcohol were not involved. There was no mention of excessive speeding. All three occupants were unhurt.]

    dodge_hellcat_crash_speed_limitThe blind over-crest on a relatively rural and winding stretch of road near Brighton Colorado (near the South Platte river).

    According to this reporter, the skid marks at the scene of the accident show that the driver was traveling north. As the car crested the blind hill, the road drops down to the right, and the Hellcat may have been in a slight drift. The road is very narrow, but in good condition, well marked, and with a posted 40 MPH speed limit sign. The car started to drift toward the right ditch after the speed limit sign. The driver tried to correct, but the resulting over-correction sent the car across the lane and into a large cottonwood tree. Thankfully, there was no oncoming traffic at this moment.


    Official investigation is still underway, and police department was not available for comment.

    The crash site was just a few dozen feet away from a blue “Please Drive Safely” sign in memory of Garrett D. Sessions and Rebecca A. Morgan. This is a very grim reminder of how dangerous it can be.


    The Challenger Hellcat in this incident is a Sublime Green Pearl example. It’s powered by a 707 horsepower 6.2L Supercharged HEMI V8. This is the most powerful production Dodge muscle car engine of all time. It should be treated with respect. Also, the performance tires that it wears from the factory cannot perform well at temperatures near 32F (as it was in this case).

    It is fortunate that all three occupants of this Hellcat were unhurt, and that nobody else was harmed.

    A small pile of leftover Hellcat parts.

    Let this 2015 Dodge Challenger Hellcat crash be another reminder to be careful and stay safe.

    You can learn Everything about the 2015 Dodge Hellcat vehicles at TFLcar.com.

    Check out this fun TFLcar show where Roman compares the Challenger Hellcat to the Charger Hellcat.


    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov is an Automotive Enthusiast, Producer, Reviewer, Videographer, Writer, Software Engineer, Husband, Father, and Friend.

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    70 thoughts on “First 2015 Dodge Challenger Hellcat sold in Colorado – Crashed

    1. Why make excuses for stupid behavior. Just a few miles from the dealer and wrecks the brand new car.
      Maybe the insurance company should make sure his next vehicle is a Dart with a stock engine, something
      perhaps he can drive. Well Merry Christmas and enjoy your new Dart.

          1. AMEN Sister!!!!
            Also, I’m not sure it was totalled though – at that price, they may just go for a new front end and let him deal with the “minor inconveniences” that never get fully resolved once you have a wreck like this – and his warranty will be TOAST. The squeeks, malfitting doors, and other likley recurring problems will probably drive him NUTS – and add to the costs. God knows he won’t be able to resell it either…

            1. If they fix the car his full warranty will remain in effect. Not so sure where you got the idea they could fix a brand new car and then terminate his warranty, but to do so would be against the law.

            2. My future son in law bought a 2013 Avenger with 18K from a salvage dealer the car had a salvage tile for hail damage and was “certified’ mechanically sound. He had it one week and the motor detonated. Chrysler would not honor the remainder of the factory warranty because it was salvage title even though it was for hail. Cost him $4000 to replace the motor so the money he saved initially was spent on the new motor. Between that and the way Fiat is carving up Chrysler I likely have purchased my last one after 35 years of loyalty.

      1. Maybe he was ignorant, not stupid. Perhaps he did not realize that performance tires don’t work well in near freezing cold weather. Perhaps he did not realize how powerful the car is.

        When the Nissan 300Z first came onto the market with 300 HP engines, physicians who bought the car told me they almost crashed into the car in front of them when they first drove the car, not realizing how quick the car is. They realized they have to go easy on the car to prevent it from crashing.

        1. Yeah,
          Found out the hard way that my 1987 300zx didn’t turn well on well sufaces. After launching my car off the end of a parking lot and into a ravine some 75 feet away I learned to respect newton’s 1st law. After that I never tried another hard fast turn on cold or wet surfaces with that car.

        2. Check the photo again…the guy went on a country road to open his new toy up (with friends) and see what it will do. On a road that has already killed folks – in winter. See the skid marks – sure looks like the back end broke loose when he put the breaks on after entering a curve too fast – something most “go fast” drivers will tell you NOT to do. Two trees lost bark – and the skid marks show him going off the road sideways, while the police photo shows it well back into the road with the entire front end caved in. Takes a LOT of speed to slam into one tree sideways, then spin around and demolish your front end on another, then bounce back into the road. That’s going beyond just plain “ignorant” – he put other drivers and his passengers at risk. I’ll color that STUPID every time.

          1. He didn’t “hit a tree sideways”, check the pictures. The only damage to the car is straight into the front of it.

      1. If he had a “snoot full of legal Colorado cannibus (sic)” he’d have been going about 8 miles per hour in this beast.

    2. Probably just naive and unlucky. . Road looks like an easy 60-70 mph stretch of road. Having hit a guard rail traveling backwards at 50 mph, I know the unexpected can happen though.

    3. why do u need a car with that much horse power anyway I have a sxt 6 and my car gets it just great but yall are right don’t be stupid show off

    4. Not the first one sold in Colorado. If he was doing the speed limit he would not of crashed. He had to be going above it for that to happen. Been down that road numerous times with numerous vehicles

    5. I live a couple miles from here. This is actually a very dangerous road. A family I know owns that property and there has been multiple crashes and deaths there. This guy is dumb, but extremely lucky.

    6. I will say only 1 thing in this guys behalf, not all his fault if you look at the banking of the curves they bank out not in, making what looks to be an easy curve into a very dangerous curve, that being said that’s why its marked 40 mph

    7. Just another proof that this much power in a street car is a dumb idea. 600 hp on street tires. Exactly at what speed can you start putting this power down without spinning the tires? 70? 100? 120? What good is a car that simply cannot put all its power down at LEGAL speeds?

      1. Really?

        Down hill, negative bank and . . . Boom; Never torque it with this scenario, regardless of what you drive. Too bad, big horse power is great fun, once the learning curve is complete!

        1. Yeah really. I almost got killed by a driver showing off his 1000hp corvette to me, on the street.

    8. If any of you actually drove something other than a Camry or an Accord you’d realize HP had nothing at all to do with it. It’s situational awareness and not only driving for the conditions of the road, but also the equipment you are driving. With road temperatures under 40 degrees, performance tire compounds have the adhesion factor of a hockey puck. It’s not rocket science. 707hp may grant you the ability to liquify your tires into a smoke induced burnout, it’s certainly is not the factor here. I’d also contribute the loss of traction as lift off oversteer, which on a corner like this would be instinctive.

      1. HP absolutely has something to do with it. It’s a drug. It’s intoxicating. I bet he was testing the car’s performance by accelerating and slowing down repeatedly. And with this kind of power, going from 40-80 happens in a blink of an eye.

    9. While I can understand the excitement of buying a new high horsepower vehicle and driving it for the first time, there is a time and place to “see how she runs” and this guy chose wrong on both as it was too cold and curvy for his “common sense” to figure out. You have to respect power or it will bite you in the end…

    10. Obvious he wasn`t a skilled driver and not suited for that car to lose it soon after purchase of the car–more of these stories coming with big three pumping out HP Performance car`s. awesome car though!

    11. i leave close to this street its nick name it the “GATES FROM HELL” this road is long narrow curvey and dark at night no street lights what so ever, lost a few friend on this road and hundereds more over the years, this is a bad road in Colorado this why it was giving this nick name, very scary road to drive on

    12. Hahahahahahaha . There’s going to be a bunch of these kind of stories , But really, the 707 horses didn’t have anything to do with this type of wreck. He was going to fast, yes, but he just plain didn’t know his car well enough to be going around that curve, that fast. I feel sorry for him. His insurance rates are going to go way up on his replacement one.

    13. That car is clearly not “totaled”. After about $30,000 in repairs he will have his car back just in time for spring. lol

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    15. I would rather have a Mazda (Miata) MX-5 that I could drive at 100% on the street or track, than a 707hp beast that should never be driven at 100% (especially on the street!) unless you have decades of track experience. I have a feeling that this accident would have happened whether the car had summer performance tires or tires that were appropriate for the weather conditions. Tires of any type are no substitute for good driving skills.

      1. You can’t really drive a Miata at 100% on the street. It’s underpowered. I’ve had one. There is something to be said in regard to being able to get a ‘fun speed’ quickly and then slow down again quickly. 700hp seems way overkill though. Somewhere around 300-400 hp in a car that is not too heavy would be the sweet spot.

    16. This just confirms, once again, that the type of person who buys a car like this buys it merely for its straight line performance.

      Such persons neither know nor care how to put a car through a challenging turn.

      So, even if the car was capable, the driver is inadequate for the task at hand.

      Now, take the C7 Corvette as a contrast. It is the latest in a 60+ year long history of sports cars which, although powerful and fast, are also capable of cornering at a high levels. Corvettes tend to attract drivers who enjoy cornering fast and are often skilled at doing so.

      It absolutely breaks my heart to see the online Corvette Forum full of references to the drag racing prowess of the Corvette. I’m also quite sure that such reports leave all Corvette founders to roll over in their graves.

      To sum up, it should be absolutely no surprise to anyone that some Boy Racer got to a turn in the road and could not consult the Owner’s Manual fast enough, leaving him a passenger in the car he was driving. No surprise at all.

    17. I (AM) glad no one was hurt. But I feel much more sorry for the car than the (*******) driving it. This is proof that some people should NOT be allowed out doors unsupervised. WAY MORE MONEY THAN SINCE !!!!!!!! Not trying to be hard on the guy but I obviously have a whole lot more respect for the machine than some.

    18. Cars delivered with summer only tires are supposed to have a LARGE warning sticker on them stating that they do not work well well under 40 degrees and to install winter or performance all season tires, I wonder if Chrysler was smart enough to have this warning sticker in place!!!
      What do you expect? Over 700 HP with someone at the wheel who I would be 100% sure has never had this much power.
      A disaster waiting to happen. Thankfully no one was hurt

    19. Don’t TFL videos show a Challenger spinning out (on a race course) in the opening sequence? It can happen very quickly and you may not be able to catch the back end before it spins out.

      Speaking for myself I can’t imagine what a 700+ hp car would feel like. My 5.0 Genesis R-Spec is a big sedan and with only 429 hp it feels extremely quick. Adding another 300 hp would be a recipe for trouble no matter how well engineered the car is.

      1. Yes, our Video intro has a 2015 Challenger R/T spinning out on our test racetrack. This was during a practice drifting session on the track.

        This track is a perfect place to get to know your high performance car. Most of the track has no walls and wide run-off sections.

        1. Yes, find a wide open area and get to know your vehicle. Same thing is true for snow and ice. Snow plow drivers will hate you but find a lot with no curbs and then go crazy. You will become a decent winter driver.

          The Hellcat has to be more of a straight-line car anyways. Look at it. It is heavy and tall. Tons of power but it isn’t no Bugatti.

    20. I own a supercharged Boss 302 and I can see how easily it would be to get out of control with these types of vehicles. Before I bought it, I read everything I could about it, it’s engine/performance info, and all the specs, and was an educated driver. While I’m no expert, common sense has to come into play and help the driver decide when and when not to give it excessive throttle. Bummer about the hellcat. Such a beautiful car!

    21. Well the story is not correct it was not the first one sold. I have heard two before this one. One at Brandon Dodge Chrysler was sold early Dec. I know it is more about the wreck but I bet other information is not correct.

      1. TFLcar.com received information from Colorado Automotive Dealers Association (CADA) a week ago that Larry. H. Miller Dodge had the first Challenger Hellcat sold in Colorado. We were unable to double-check this information.

    22. The article doesn’t clarify if he had the red or black key. I doubt he had the red key inserted, which unlocks the 707hp. Otherwise he only had a paltry 500 on tap. Either way, guy can’t drive.

    23. That section of road is one mile from my house. Its a very fun road but must be used at speed with caution even for this local. The ex Hellcat owner was not a local……My supercharged SRT8 Challenger is a handful with summer tires on cold roads therefore it is parked for the winter months. The small pile of Hellcat parts is now in my man cave and will make some interesting wall art.

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