Woman dies in car accident | SteamboatToday.com
Alexis DeLaCruz

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Woman dies in car accident

A Steamboat Springs woman died Thursday, and her husband was listed in critical condition after a two-vehicle accident on Colorado Highway 131 south of Toponas.

Barbara Day Schoen, 74, of Steamboat, was pronounced dead at 3:45 p.m., Colorado State Patrol Trooper Rick Kaspar said. John Stanley Schoen, 72, Barbara’s husband, was taken by ambulance to Yampa Valley Medical Center and then was airlifted to Denver Health hospital, where he was listed in critical condition.

The driver of the vehicle that struck the Schoens’ Subaru was arrested on charges of careless driving that resulted in bodily injury and careless driving that resulted in death, Kaspar said.

The accident occurred at about 2 p.m. on Colo. 131 near mile-marker 27, about seven miles south of Toponas.

Kaspar said authorities think that Barbara Schoen, who was driving a 2000 Subaru north on Colo. 131, noticed a southbound 2003 Ford F-450 truck hauling a trailer sliding across the dividing line and into the northbound lane. The truck’s driver, Martin Galarza-Escalera, 37, of Avon, had lost control of his truck because of hail that was on the highway, Kaspar said. After his truck spun into the northbound lane, it struck the driver side of the Subaru, which already had moved off the highway and into the shoulder adjacent to the northbound lane, Kaspar said. Both vehicles came to a stop facing north.

The two passengers riding with Galarza-Escalera were not injured. Galarza-Escalera was taken to YVMC, where he eventually was released with minor injuries, Kaspar said.

Galarza-Escalera then was booked into Routt County Jail.

Barbara and John Schoen were wearing seat belts, but the occupants of the F-450 were not, Kaspar said. Alcohol is not suspected to have played a role in the accident, he said.

Routt County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the scene and directed traffic until the Colorado State Patrol arrived. Traffic was stopped in both directions from 5:30 to 7 p.m.