Wreck kills ‘most incredible employee’
A Marble woman under the influence of alcohol crashed her Jeep into a car on Highway 133 late Thursday, killing a Rifle man on his way home from work in Redstone, authorities say.Rebecca Wood, 23, is charged with vehicular homicide; she was being held on a $11,325 bond at Pitkin County Jail. County prosecutor Gail Nichols said she also plans to charge Wood with driving under the influence of alcohol, carrying no proof of insurance and driving on roadways improperly. Authorities say Jose Munoz Torres, 40, died when Wood’s Jeep Cherokee, traveling south, crossed the center line about 10:30 p.m. north of Marble, hit a cement barrier and then crashed into Torres’ Chevy Cavalier. The Jeep rolled over the top of the Cavalier and came to rest on its roof in the middle of the highway, according to the Colorado Highway Patrol. Torres was pronounced dead at the scene, and Wood was treated for minor injuries at Valley View Hospital.The highway patrol closed the road, which links Carbondale and Hotchkiss, until about 3:15 a.m. Friday morning.Torres was on his way home from his job as kitchen manager at the Crystal Club Cafe in Redstone. Kim and Billy Amicon, who own the restaurant, remembered their employee of 15 years as a dedicated and well-known fixture in Redstone whom co-workers loved.”He was the most incredible employee we could ever have,” Billy Amicon said.He said he and his wife also know Wood because she has worked in Redstone before.”She’s an acquaintance of ours,” Billy Amicon said. “We know her. It’s a small valley.”If Wood posts bail, she is not allowed to possess or consume alcohol or operate any motor vehicle.Vehicular homicide is a felony that carries a sentence of four to 12 years in prison, though the sentence could be as low as two years or as high as 24 years. It also carries a fine ranging from $5,000 to $750,000. The misdemeanor DUI charge carries a prison sentence of up to one year and a fine of up to $1,000.Wood has no previous DUI offenses, authorities said, though she received six speeding tickets between 2001 and 2004. She also was charged with possession of methamphetamine in 2002. The results of a blood test had not returned by Friday afternoon. However, Nichols said Wood told witnesses at the scene of the crash that she had been drinking and smoking marijuana earlier in the evening.Wood is scheduled for arraignment at 10:30 Monday morning.Greg Schreier’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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