Saturday, September 5, 2009
Steamboat Springs The Colorado State Patrol has cited a dump truck driver for careless driving causing death in connection with the July 28 crash that killed longtime Routt County resident Lorna Farrow.
Sgt. Scott Elliott said Friday that Hayden resident James Stackhouse, 60, will be charged with the Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by 6 to 18 months in prison, or a fine of $500 to $5,000, or both imprisonment and a fine.
Farrow, 58, was killed while checking the mailbox in front of her business, Farrow Repair Service, at 26840 West U.S. Highway 40, when Stackhouse reportedly swerved to the right to avoid a Jeep that had slowed to turn left.
"The driver of the dump truck did not act in time and had to aggressively brake and swerved to the right to avoid striking the Jeep," Elliott wrote in a news release.
Colorado state statutes stipulate that careless driving may be charged against "any person who drives any motor vehicle, bicycle, or motorized bicycle in a careless and imprudent manner, without due regard for the width, grade, curves, corners, traffic, and use of the streets and highways and all other attendant circumstances."
Elliott concluded that "drugs and alcohol are not believed to be contributing factors in this crash: inattentive driving is likely the main cause of this crash."
Stackhouse will first appear in court on Oct. 27.
A phone number for Stackhouse is unlisted; he could not be reached for comment Friday evening.
Farrow's death sparked a meeting of concerned community members and local and state officials earlier this week. The subject of the meeting was the stretch of U.S. 40 where Farrow was killed, which many describe as a longstanding safety concern. The particular stretch of road passes by the Steamboat Golf Club nine-hole course and Riverbend Cabins and residences, as well as Farrow Repair Service.
Officials identified several potential short- and long-term solutions, including a speed study, added signage, increased speed enforcement, widened shoulders and the addition of a center turning lane.