EXCLUSIVE: GOP Rep Lauren Boebert ‘covered up’ off-roading accident that could have sunk her political career after she lost control of Jeep ATV and left her son, dog, and sister-in-law to smash into a rock face two weeks before key 2020 primary
- Republican Rep Lauren Boebert, 35, was involved in an accident on Mother’s Day 2020 while off-roading with family in Moab, Utah
- DailyMail.com can reveal the Colorado congresswoman is accused of covering up the incident after she allegedly abandoned her family in the vehicle
- A family insider said Boebert lost control of a Jeep ATV and ‘bailed’, leaving her son, dog, and now-former sister-in-law inside as it smashed into a rock face
- Tori Hooper, 28, who was formerly married to Boebert’s brother Benjamin Bentz, sustained serious injuries to her face and chest in the collision
- The source said Boebert later ‘begged’ Hooper to keep quiet about the crash which occurred two weeks before a key primary for her congressional district
- The source who spoke on condition of anonymity said: ‘She begged Tori not to say anything. She tried to use her money. ‘She said: “I’ll pay for it all”‘
GOP Rep Lauren Boebert ‘bailed’ from the driver’s seat of a Jeep ATV leaving her son and dog in the back seat and her former sister-in-law struggling to right the vehicle as it careened down a ravine and smashed into a rock face in Moab, Utah, DailyMail.com can exclusively reveal.
According to a family insider Boebert, 35, was off-roading on Mother’s Day 2020 – just two weeks before she was to win a Republican primary – when she lost control and ‘bailed,’ leaving her family members to their fate.
Tori Hooper, 28, who was married to Boebert’s younger brother, Benjamin Bentz, at the time, sustained serious injuries to her face and chest that required her to be air lifted for treatment.
Yet DailyMail.com has learned that no 911 call was ever placed.
Instead, the source said, the then-congressional hopeful, Boebert, ‘begged’ Hooper not to tell anyone about the accident which could have dominated the headlines leading up to the primary.
Republican Rep Lauren Boebert, 35 (pictured speaking at the US Capitol on Wednesday) is accused of covering up an off-roading accident she caused in May 2020 that left her sister-in-law seriously injured
Boebert’s former sister-in-law, Tori Hooper, 28, who was married to her brother Benjamin Bentz (left) was left struggling to take control of the Jeep ATV as it careened down a ravine and smashed into a rock face in Moab, Utah after the congresswoman abandoned the driver’s seat
Boebert was previously charged with careless driving and operating an unsafe vehicle after rolling her truck into a ditch in Garfield County, Colorado in 2016. She was later arrested and booked into jail months later in 2017 (pictured) for failing to appear for her court hearing
The source who spoke on condition of anonymity said: ‘It was pretty crazy. She [Boebert] got out of the driver’s seat and left Tori screaming and freaking out, and her son and dog in the back seat.
‘Tori couldn’t get out of her seatbelt, so she grabbed the steering wheel. She’s steering into a cliff. They hit a rock wall; it struck her whole face. It was bad.’
At the time Boebert was ahead in the polls and she went on to win the primary for Colorado’s third congressional district, defeating sitting congressman Scott Tipton by nine percentage points in what political observers called a ‘shocking upset’.
This year she is facing a primary challenge from State Senator Don Coram on June 28.
The source who spoke on condition of anonymity said: ‘Lauren begged Tori not to say anything. She tried to use her money.
‘She said: “I’ll pay for it all,” but Tori had insurance, so she didn’t have to pay for anything.’
One onlooker who witnessed Hooper’s arrival at St Mary’s Medical Center in Grand Junction, Colorado, described her injuries as ‘severe’ and revealed they required emergency treatment as well as ongoing care.
Another source told DailyMail.com that a tattoo across Hooper’s chest had to be redone due to chest injuries she sustained.
Tori did not respond to DailyMail.com’s inquiries, but her mother Stephanie Bohochi, 53, confirmed: ‘She [Tori] got stuck inside of a crevice in the Jeep while Lauren sort of kind, of took off her belt and slipped out.
Boebert and husband Jayson (pictured) share four sons. One of the boys was in the off-roading vehicle when she lost control and fled, family insiders told DailyMail.com
Hooper previously worked at Boebert’s restaurant, Shooter’s Grill, in Rifle, Colorado, Co-workers recalled seeing her show up at work with broken teeth and other visible injuries to her face after the accident
‘You won’t [find any reports of a 911 call] but she was really injured for sure,’ Bohochi said from her home in Rifle, Colorado.
Co-workers at Shooter’s Grill, the Rifle restaurant owned by Boebert and her husband, Jayson, recalled Hooper showing up at work with broken teeth and other visible injuries to her face.
David Wheeler, President of American Muckrakers PAC Inc – the group that released a litany of unflattering information about North Carolina Representative Madison Cawthorn who lost his chance at re-election in primaries last month – has now accused Boebert of ‘covering up’ vital information in relation to her May 2020 accident.
Speaking to DailyMail.com he called for her to publicly disclose any details and ‘publicly apologize to the victim.’
‘Our coalition of Republicans, Democrats and Unaffiliated Coloradans are urging all voters and citizens to…ask Boebert why she covered up [the accident that] endangered the life of her son, sister-in-law and dog?’ he said.
Wheeler continued: ‘Utah officials must investigate this matter immediately, release their findings, and take appropriate actions against Boebert and anyone else that covered-up this matter.
‘We hope voters will fire Boebert in the June 28, 2022, primary election.’
Boebert’s spokesman called American Muckrakers version of the accident ‘an outrageous claim from a partisan political group.’
Insiders say Boebert (pictured far right) offered to ‘pay’ in exchange for Hooper’s (far left) silence
No 911 call was ever placed to report the incident and Boebert is said to have begged Hooper not to tell anyone about it. Boebert’s Twitter shows she advertised the opening of her Colorado restaurant on the day of the accident
The 2020 incident wouldn’t be the first time Boebert got into trouble while behind the wheel.
The mother-of-four was charged with careless driving and operating an unsafe vehicle in 2016 after rolling her truck into a ditch in Garfield County, Colorado, the Denver Post reported.
She was arrested and taken into custody months later in February 2017 after failing to appear in court. Boebert later pleaded guilty to the offenses but was ultimately only charged with operating an unsafe vehicle.
Hooper’s mother Stephanie Bohochi, 53 (pictured) confirmed her daughter was seriously injured in the accident
And it is not only driving that has landed the freshman congresswoman in trouble.
Earlier this week Colorado officials announced that they are looking into allegations that Boebert inflated the mileage she logged on the campaign trail in 2020.
The move came after American Muckrakers called for an investigation alleging that Boebert used more than $20,000 of fraudulently claimed reimbursements from donors to pay off years of tax liens on her restaurant.
The Denver Post first reported in February 2021 that Boebert had cashed two checks from her campaign totaling $22,259 for mileage reimbursements.
The number equated to 38,712 miles, which is significantly more than the 24,901-mile circumference of the planet.
In May 2020, Boebert’s restaurant had its food license suspended by Garfield County Health Department after she opened its doors to customers, flouting COVID rules and despite a cease-and-desist order that she had been served by Rifle Police Department.
She claimed she needed to open the doors in order to avoid having to shutter the business permanently.
Pictured Shooter’s Grill, the restaurant owned by Boebert and her husband Jayson which trades on encouraging patrons to bring their guns
A Lauren Boebert campaign office is located next door to the restaurant in downtown Rifle, Colorado
Boebert opened Shooter’s Grill in 2013 on the premise that it was a place where patrons are not only welcome but actively encouraged to bring their guns.
That sentiment is reflected in the décor on every wall on which guns are mounted and pro-gun posters and messages plastered.
Meanwhile servers bring diners their burgers and fries with a side-order of conspicuously holstered firearms.
Boebert recently made headlines when she pushed back against calls for greater gun restrictions in the wake of the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, which saw 19 children slaughtered along with two of their teachers at Robb Elementary School.
She took the view that the shooting was proof of a need to arm teachers in classrooms insisting there was ‘no need to take guns away from law abiding citizens.’
She reasoned: ‘When 911 happened we didn’t ban planes, we secured the cockpit.’
Uvalde gunman Salvador Ramos, 18, legally purchased two AR-style rifles just days before committing the atrocity and shortly after his 18th birthday.
Boebert was a staunch Trump supporter during his presidency
The accident took place just two weeks ahead of key primaries in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District. President Donald Trump later congratulated Boebert for winning the Republican primary
Boebert has since doubled-down on her calls to arm teachers and turn schools into ‘impenetrable’ fortresses.
Days after voicing her views on that matter Boebert was on stage at a pre-primary rally in Casper, Wyoming, in which she lent her support to Harriet Hageman who is challenging Rep. Liz Cheney for the Republican nomination. Ex-president Donald Trump also spoke.
Boebert took to the stage to help tee up Trump and was given a warm welcome.
The representative and keen markswoman referred to herself as a ‘professional RINO hunter.’
She told the crowd, ‘It has been brought to my attention that your RINO-in-Chief needs to be taken out of Wyoming.
‘I have not found a three-letter agency that Liz Cheney does not want to grow, a CNN interview that she does not want to take, or a war that she does not want to engage in and fund with your tax dollars.’