Two dead after high-speed pursuit near Glenwood Springs
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” A confrontation between a Colorado State Patrol trooper and a suspected drunk driver left two people dead shortly after midnight on Saturday morning.
Following a traffic stop on Highway 82 a few miles south of Glenwood Springs, the trooper found himself in a dangerous situation when the driver of a black and gold Ford pick-up truck tried to flee the scene.
During the pursuit, the driver tried to ram his vehicle into the patrol car but lost control and crashed. Both the male driver and the female passenger were ejected from the vehicle and were killed. Neither of the victims were wearing seat belts.
The names of the victims were not released pending notification of relatives.
According to state patrol spokesman David Hall, the pursuit lasted only about five minutes before the driver of the pick-up truck crashed.
“Two people died. This is a tragedy that absolutely did not have to happen,” Hall said. “It’s not worth risking your life to run from law enforcement.”
Around 12:29 a.m., the trooper stopped the Ford pickup after he observed it weaving on Highway 82. After the trooper obtained information from the suspect and turned to return to his patrol car, the driver sped away, Hall said.
A short, but intense high-speed chase ensued.
A second patrol car joined the pursuit, and the troopers tried to box the suspect’s pickup in by using a driving maneuver where one trooper passes the pickup and then slows down, Hall said.
But when the first patrol car tried to pass the pickup, the suspect rammed into the side of the trooper’s car, in an attempt to run him off the highway, he said.
The driver of the pick-up truck lost control and went off the roadway into the center median and rolled twice.
The female passenger sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced dead on the scene by the Garfield County coroner. The male driver was transported to Valley View Hospital in Glenwood, where he was later pronounced dead by an attending medical physician.
Alcohol, speed and failure to yield to authorities, are suspected as contributing factors involving this incident.
The trooper, whose name was not released, was not injured.
Hall said all state patrol troopers go through extensive driver training to prepare for all types of scenarios.
“We have extensive training, and we own a track in Golden for training. It’s also part of or training academy,” Hall said.
Hall said this tragedy should serve as an example for others.
“Anytime you have alcohol involved and you are not wearing seat belts it can lead to trouble, and unfortunately this time it ended very badly.
“Number one, you should never drink and drive. Number two you should always wear your seat belt, and number three you should never try and elude law enforcement,” he said.
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