Autopsy results released for homeless Carbondale man hit, killed Saturday
An autopsy of a Carbondale homeless man struck and killed by an SUV Saturday night found the victim’s blood alcohol content to be 0.163 and the cause of death to have included a broken neck.
A forensic pathologist found his cause of death to be multiple blunt force injuries, including a neck fracture, the Garfield County coroner reported Wednesday. The manner of death in this case was found to be an accident.
Wesley Paul Bright, a 45-year-old, longtime Carbondale homeless man died at the scene after being struck on Colorado 133.
Carbondale police and medical workers responded to the wreck between Village Road and Delores Way at about 10:50 p.m. and unsuccessfully attempted to revive him. The man was reportedly struck while walking across Colorado 133. One vehicle successfully avoided hitting him, but another was unable to do so.
Bright had been involved in similar wrecks in Carbondale, according to police.
“In years past, the same male had been struck twice before not far from this location and under similar circumstances,” according to a police press release.
Lynn Kirchner, founder of Carbondale Homeless Assistance, said Bright was well known to the community and CHA.
“We’re all pretty devastated,” she said. “He was a good person and was always there looking out for his fellow homeless folks.”
Earlier Saturday, he had been at CHA’s bimonthly luncheon. “He was always friendly, courteous, and he’s been a part of the community for a long time.”
Bright frequently helped CHA with its barbecues and lunches, she said.
“He was very grateful to everyone there helping and appreciated everything we were able to give him.” Kirchner said that CHA and those who knew him are hoping to hold a memorial in remembrance.
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State department of transportation crews are well on their way to clearing Highway 82 to Independence Pass, which should open on schedule May 27 at noon.