Steamboat Brief for Dec. 19

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State Patrol says alcohol a factor in fatal crash

— Tests have revealed that a Steamboat Springs woman killed in a Dec. 1 car crash near Mount Harris was driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.198, Trooper Brett Hilling of the Colorado State Patrol said Tuesday.

Laura Jarrell, 29, was killed after losing control of her vehicle while traveling eastbound on U.S. Highway 40 near mile marker 113 just after 3 p.m., troopers said. Hilling said a beer can was found in Jarrell's car and that a witness reported she had had at least one beer prior to driving.

Excessive speed for road conditions is believed to be a contributing factor to the accident, which also injured Katherine McCall, 64, of Roy, Utah. McCall sustained minor injuries and has since returned home to Utah.

"The roadways were wet with slush, and it had been snowing and raining intermittently at the time of the crash," Hilling said after the accident.

McCall and Jarrell were wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash, troopers said.

Earlier this month, Hilling said DUIs and fatality crashes are on the rise in Routt County and throughout the Yampa Valley. Last year, there was only one fatality on U.S. Highway 40 in Routt County. This year, there have been 11. Of the 24 accidents this year involving fatalities in this troop area of the State Patrol, 11 are now the confirmed result of DUI.

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