Accident claims Gypsum man

Vehicle rolled over near Toponas

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— A 24-year-old Gypsum man died early Sunday morning after being ejected from a pickup truck in a one-vehicle rollover accident that happened eight miles northwest of Toponas.

Andres Hernandez was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident, a private road described as Jeep trail.

Alcohol is a suspected factor in the accident, Colorado State Patrol Cpl. Brian Bagley said. The truck's driver, Luke Gray, 20, of Eagle, was arrested at the scene on suspicion of vehicular homicide.

Gray and a second passenger, 23-year-old Lucas Kelley of Eagle, were not injured.

The accident occurred about 12:15 a.m. along a single-lane four-by-four trail on the Bardin Ranch north of Routt County Road 6. Bagley would not comment on why the men were driving on the road, or why alcohol was suspected as a factor in the accident.

Gray was driving a 1993 Dodge pickup truck northbound when he went off the right side of the road. The truck rolled twice down a steep embankment and came to rest on its wheels.

Hernandez, who was sitting in the center of the truck's seat, was ejected and landed 10 feet east of the vehicle. The Yampa Ambulance arrived on the scene at 12:57 a.m. Routt County Deputy Coroner Heather McLaughlin pronounced Hernandez dead at 3:30 a.m.

No one was wearing seatbelts, and although the truck was equipped with airbags, they did not deploy.

Gray was arrested and booked into the Routt County Jail. He was released Sunday afternoon on $20,000 bond to his family. He is scheduled to appear in Routt County Court on July 22.

The Colorado State Patrol is still investigating the accident.

An autopsy on Hernandez was performed Monday, the results of which the Routt County Coroner's Office is expected to release Wednesday.

The Routt County Sheriff's Office, Yampa Ambulance, Yampa Fire and Rescue and Oak Creek Fire and Rescue all responded to the scene. Bagley and troopers Travis Randolph and Ryan Parker are investigating the accident.

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