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Car accidents: 3 dead following crash in Colorado

Patricia M. Jarzobski

Police in Greeley say they have identified three people who were killed after the vehicle they were riding in crashed into a pond in the early morning of Oct. 23. Colorado police routinely investigate fatal car accidents, and this case is being handled in the same way. As part of this investigation, police have called upon any witnesses to reach out to law enforcement in order to help determine how this tragedy occurred.

Details are incomplete as of this report, but it has been confirmed that three men, aged 18, 19 and 30, were all riding in an SUV around 6 a.m., though it is unclear which individual was driving the vehicle at the time. For reasons unknown, the SUV left the roadway at a high rate of speed with no apparent signs of braking at the scene. The SUV rode down the embankment and into a pond, where investigators say it sank to a depth of some 50 feet.

Dive crews were dispatched to attempt a rescue of the men in the vehicle, but all three were later declared dead at a local hospital. Police say they have not ruled out drugs or alcohol as contributing factors to this crash, but they do not have conclusive evidence at this time. No further information has been released.

If, as with many car accidents, the driver of the SUV is determined to have been intoxicated or otherwise negligent in the operation of his vehicle (which would appear to be born out by the car leaving the roadway and ending up in the pond), the families of the other two deceased passengers have legal recourse available to them. Of course, Colorado authorities do not file posthumous criminal charges, but the families are entitled under state law to file wrongful death lawsuits against the driver's estate and anyone separate individual with an ownership interest in the vehicle. Using evidence of material contribution to the accident provided by police, it is possible for the families to be awarded damages for their tragic losses.

Source: CBS Denver, "3 Killed In Pond Crash Identified", Oct. 24, 2017

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