Alcohol suspected in fatal crash

Staff report
A van and station wagon remain locked together by the impact of a crash on Highway 82 at Catherine Store Road on Sunday. The driver of the station wagon died of her injuries, and the driver of the van was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving, according to police.
Matt Hobbs/Courtesy photo |

A Carbondale woman died of her injuries after her car was hit Sunday by a van driven by a man suspected of running a red light while drunk, according to police.

Kathy Sharp, 65, died at Denver Health Medical Center, where she had been airlifted after the crash, according to a statement from the Colorado State Patrol.

Douglas R. Liljedahl Jr., 50, of Carbondale, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. He faces a charge of vehicular assault but instead may be charged with vehicular homicide, the statement said.

Around 12:15 p.m. Sunday, the Colorado State Patrol responded to a report of a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of Highway 82 and Catherine Store Road, between El Jebel and Carbondale, the statement said.

According to witness accounts, a van driven by Liljedahl was traveling east on Highway 82 as a station wagon driven by Sharp was traveling north on Catherine Store Road toward the intersection, according to the statement.

Witnesses said the van went through the intersection, disregarding a red light, and collided with the driver side of the station wagon, the statement said. The impact fastened the vehicles together, and they came to rest in the eastbound lanes of Highway 82, just east of the intersection, the statement said.

Sharp was not wearing a seat belt and suffered critical injuries, according to the statement. She was taken to Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs before being flown to Denver, the statement said.

Liljedahl was wearing a seat belt and escaped serious injuries, according to the statement.

Investigators were reportedly still looking into details of the crash Monday.