Rifle woman killed in crash with suspected drunken driver
Glenwood Springs Post Independent
A Rifle woman was killed in a head-on collision with a suspected drunken driver on Interstate 70 near New Castle on Saturday night.
Stephanie Hillian, 36, of Rifle, a loan officer at Alpine Bank in Willits, died after being transported to the hospital, according to CSP spokesperson Josh Lewis said.
The other driver, Mark Groff, 55, of Grand Junction, was declared dead at the scene.
I-70 was closed for a short time Saturday evening after the 8:30 p.m. crash.
Support Local Journalism
According to the Colorado State Patrol, Groff may have been impaired by alcohol.
“Alcohol is being looked at as a possible factor,” Lewis said.
Groff was driving in a Hyundai heading eastbound on I-70 just east of New Castle when he collided with a guardrail. His car then crossed the median and collided with the front of Hillian’s Volkswagen.
“The Hyundai collided with the guardrail, then went through the eastbound lands, through the median, and into the westbound lane of traffic, at which point it ended up colliding with the front of the Volkswagen,” Lewis said.
Lewis said he did not have an estimated speed for Groff’s Hyundai. “It does not appear, initially, that speed is being considered a factor,” Lewis said.
No other vehicles were involved in the accident, Lewis said.
Hillian had been with Alpine Bank for five years, Willits branch manager Dan Markoya said, and was beloved by staff and customers.
“Whoever she came into contact with, she left a very positive impression on them,” Markoya said.
“She was a great employee at the bank, but an even better person.”
Markoya said he has received countless emails, phone calls and text messages with condolences to be passed to Hillian’s family.
“It just shows how great of a person she was,” Markoya said.
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
: Imagine walking through downtown Aspen on streets that have been closed to traffic to make way for shopping and dining. City officials are considering such a plan based off of feedback from the public. Comments are being taken until noon on Monday, May 25.