Steamboat Springs A 68-year-old Yampa man died Thursday night when he apparently lost control of the truck he was driving, causing the truck to roll and land upside down in a ditch full of water.
Angel Laque Figueroa was driving a red 1993 Ford Ranger south on Colorado Highway 131 north of Yampa when the truck went off the right side of the road, skidded back onto the road and then rolled one-half time, according to a Colorado State Patrol press release.
The truck began rotating clockwise and went off the left side of the road, rolling one-half time and coming to rest on its roof in a nearby drainage ditch that was full of water, the release stated.
Figueroa was the only person in the truck at the time of the accident. No other vehicles were involved.
Routt County Coroner Rob Ryg said Figueroa was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.
An exact cause of death is under investigation, he said Friday.
"We're not calling right now the cause of death because we're figuring out what happened," he said. "We're doing some investigating."
An autopsy is pending, he said.
Drugs and alcohol are not suspected to be contributing factors to the accident, he added.
Figueroa was wearing his seatbelt at the time of the accident, the State Patrol release said.
Figueroa had become a familiar sight in Steamboat Springs, roasting hatch chilies in front of Ace at the Curve.
Doug Post, store manager, said Figueroa began working at the store three years ago in the hardware store's plumbing, electrical and hardware departments.
Although "Al" was passionate about roasting chilies in front of the store, he was much more than that, Post said Friday.
"He was the kind of guy that transcended the generational and cultural gap," he said. "He was one of the nicest, kindest gentlemen we've ever had work for us."
Post said Figueroa had a dry sense of humor and loved bluegrass and old-time country music, which the store was playing all day Friday in Figueroa's memory.
Figueroa began roasting chilies in front of the store several years ago, Post said.
"It was a passion of his. He loved roasting peppers, he loved the smell of it, but more than anything, he loved being out there just talking to people," he said. "It was great to have him."
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