Crash claims life of popular barkeep
Longtime area resident Kenneth “Kenny” Dimmick was killed Wednesday afternoon in a one-car accident on Interstate 70, east of Parachute.
Dimmick, 43, had lived in the area for nearly a decade, working behind the bar at the Woody Creek Tavern.
In respect for Dimmick, the tavern closed its doors yesterday, though staffers did continue to serve peanut butter sandwiches, tea and beer out on the patio to hungry patrons who happened by.
Dimmick was driving a 1995 Suzuki Sidekick, and was apparently on his way to work Wednesday from his Parachute home when the accident occurred, just two miles east of Parachute.
“[Dimmick] went off the right side of the road and overcorrrected, coming back onto the pavement,” said Trooper Scott Gardner of the Colorado State Patrol. “That put him into a skid and he ran off the right side of the roadway again. He began to rotate until he was broadside, and that caused him to roll two times.”
Dimmick, who was not wearing a seat belt, was thrown from the vehicle. He sustained massive head injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene, according to a written statement from the State Patrol.
“There was hardly any structural damage to the vehicle at all,” said Gardner, who responded to the accident. “If he had had a seatbelt on, he’d probably still be here.”
An investigation determined that “the cause of the crash was inattention to driving – indicative of either falling asleep at the wheel, passing out, or not looking at the roadway,” the State Patrol statement said.
Dimmick came to the area from Grand Junction about nine years ago, according to Steve Bennett, a close friend and co-worker at the tavern.
Dimmick was a well-known and well-liked personality behind the bar at the tavern and many regular patrons described him as their “favorite bartender.”
“The whole timbre and tone of the tavern is going to change without him,” said Bennett.
Dimmick is survived by two children, twins Orrin and Iris; his mother and brother; his ex-wife and a longtime girlfriend.
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The blizzards of January and February seem like distant dreams to Colorado water managers. What started as a promising year for water supply — with above-average snowpack as of April 1 — ended Sept. 30 with the entire state in some level of drought.