Man dies in rollover on pass
July 11, 2002
An Aspen man was killed and a woman injured in a rollover accident on Independence Pass early Wednesday.
Paul Iosa, 27, originally of New Zealand, was driving east on Highway 82 at about 2:30 a.m. when he lost control of the vehicle and went off the left side of the road two miles west of the Lost Man Campground. The Jeep Cherokee rolled once, and Iosa was ejected. Passenger Renee Rorvick of Aspen, 39, suffered a broken rib and head injuries. She was released from Aspen Valley Hospital Wednesday evening.
Aspen resident Karinjo Devore and her children, Nick and Katrina, were returning from Denver when they encountered the crash.
“The car was right in the middle of the road, smoking,” Nick Devore said. “I yelled to see if anyone was in the car, and at first no one answered. But when I got closer [Rorvick] must have heard me because she called out. She said she was fine and asked us to take her out, but the door was smashed shut so we had to take her through the window.”
The Devores drove Rorvick down Independence Pass, stopping to let Nick out at Weller campground before taking the woman to Aspen Valley Hospital. Nick said he woke up a family in a camper at the campground and drove back up to the accident with a man to search the scene for the driver of the car with flashlights.
“The car was a Grand Cherokee but it looked like a crushed sports car,” he said. “Every window was shattered.”
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After Nick and the driver of the camper found Iosa, they waited for police to arrive. According to deputy coroner Michael Ferrara, Iosa was declared dead at the scene.
Ferrara said Rorvick was fortunate the Devores drove by when they did, since there isn’t much traffic on Independence Pass late at night.
A friend of Iosa’s, Thomas, who did not want his last name used, said Iosa has been living in Aspen for less than six months, and recently got a job as a back waiter at the Hotel Jerome.
Police estimate the vehicle’s speed was roughly 60 mph in a 30 mph zone. Alcohol is also a suspected factor in the crash, though tests are still pending.
[Naomi Havlen’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.]