Eagle County deputy struck twice on I-70

Aspen Times staff report
Aspen, CO Colorado

EAGLE COUNTY, Colo. – An Eagle County deputy was struck by two different vehicles and suffered a broken leg while responding to an accident on Interstate 70 early Saturday. Two drivers were cited.

According to the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office, Deputy John Brownlee responded to an accident on a bridge at about 1:30 a.m. on I-70, three miles west of Wolcott. Brownlee stepped out of his patrol car, and made contact with Devin Obenauer, 30, from Northglenn, Colo. The deputy and Obenauer then began to walk west on I-70, toward the deputy’s patrol car, which was parked on the right shoulder with all of its emergency lights activated.

That’s when a 1999 Subaru Outback, driven by Jamison Bair, 19, of Eagle, lost control on the icy bridge and struck Brownlee, who was injured in the accident. Bair pulled over to the right shoulder after striking the deputy, according to the sheriff’s office.

A few moments later, Brownlee was struck again, by a 2006 Chevrolet Avalanche driven by Francisco Granados, 23, of Avon. Granados continued driving eastbound on I-70, fleeing the scene, and was stopped at the Edwards exit by the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office and Avon Police Department.

Brownlee was transported to Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs with a broken leg.

The driver of the Subaru, Bair, was arrested for felony vehicular assault, driving under the influence of alcohol, and careless driving causing serious bodily injury. He was booked into the Eagle County jail, according to authorities.

The driver of the Chevrolet Avalanche, Granados, was arrested for felony vehicular assault, driving under the influence of alcohol, careless driving causing serious bodily injury, and fleeing the scene after causing bodily injury. He, too, was booked into the Eagle County jail.

The passenger in the Chevrolet Avalanche, Arzaga Moreno Antonio, 21, from Mexico, was arrested for possession of cocaine.

The driver of the vehicle in the original crash, Obenauer, was not injured. She had been driving a 2003 Volkswagen Jetta when she crashed.

The incident is under investigation.

Eastbound I-70 was closed from about 1:30 to 6:30 a.m. and traffic was rerouted on Highway 6 from Eagle to Edwards.