Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Steamboat Springs A Grand Junction man was killed instantly Wednesday night in a two-vehicle accident one mile east of Hayden.
Colorado State Patrol Tro--oper Rick Kaspar said the man, whose name was not released pending notification of his family, was driving a 2001 gray Dodge Stratus east on U.S. Highway 40 at about 6:30 p.m. when he began to lose control of the vehicle and entered the westbound lane.
Jorje Torres, 33, of Craig, was driving a 1996 white Ford F-250
pickup west on U.S. 40 and attempted to avoid the Dodge Stratus but was unable to do so, and the truck slammed into the passenger side of the Stratus, Kaspar said.
Routt County Coroner Robert Ryg pronounced the driver of the Stratus dead at 7:34 p.m. Kaspar said the man likely died from blunt force trauma.
Torres and his 39-year-old passenger, Martin Lopez, also of Craig, were taken by West Routt Ambulance to Yampa Valley Medical Center, where they were admitted for overnight observation, Kaspar said.
Kaspar said he thinks the accident might have been speed-related, though weather conditions may have been a factor. It was raining at the time of the accident, and there was standing water on U.S. 40.
Alcohol and drugs are not suspected in the accident, Kaspar said.
Kaspar said the driver of the Stratus was driving faster than the posted 65 mph speed limit, but Kaspar did not know exactly how fast the vehicle was traveling.
A witness who was interviewed at the scene of the accident said the driver of the Stratus passed him west of Hayden on a double-yellow line before the accident.
Traffic on U.S. 40 was diverted for more than 1 1/2 hours after the accident, Kaspar said. The Hayden Police Department and Routt County Sheriff's Office assisted with traffic control and witness interviews. Colorado State Patrol troopers Brett Hilling, Kirk Gardner and Ryan Parker also responded to the accident.
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