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Vehicle catches fire in fatal Colorado car accident

Patricia M. Jarzobski

A fatal collision at a Colorado intersection ended with one man escaping a car fire and another ejected from the vehicle he was driving. The car accident took place on a recent Friday afternoon in Rio Grande County. The preliminary investigation suggests that a 53-year-old driver of a pickup truck was heading northbound on County Road 3 East when his vehicle collided with a sedan at a cross road. The driver of the car was another 53-year-old man.

The Colorado State Patrol responded to the accident. The initial report from officials states that they believe that the driver of the sedan was heading eastbound on County Road 5 North when he failed to stop at a stop sign. As a result, his vehicle crashed into the GMC truck in the intersection of the two roads.

In the moments following the crash, the sedan caught on fire while the driver was still inside. He was able to free himself from the vehicle. The force of the collision caused the GMC truck to roll over two times, ejecting the driver. Both men were rushed to a local hospital for treatment, and the driver of the truck was pronounced dead later. The other driver was listed in stable condition.

Police do not suspect the involvement of alcohol or excessive speed in the car accident, although the investigation is still under way. If the factors within the initial investigation hold true, the driver of the sedan may face criminal charges in the matter. No matter the outcome in criminal court, the family of the man killed in the crash has the right to move forward with a civil suit in the matter if and when they choose to do so. A wrongful death claim typically relies upon evidence of negligence that is said to have caused or contributed to the fatality.

Source: Valley Courier, "Fort Garland man dies in crash," Aug. 25, 2012

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