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Wrongful death suit may be forthcoming in passenger death

Patricia M. Jarzobski

A serious rollover crash late in the morning of June 16 has left one person dead and another seriously hurt. Colorado State Patrol responded to the fatal car crash on Interstate 25 near Colorado City. One individual was pronounced dead, and the other was taken to a local hospital. Though the cause of the accident has not been determined, criminal charges and/or a wrongful death suit may be in the cards for the driver. 

According to the very limited accident report, only a single vehicle was involved in the crash. The driver, who has not been identified publicly, was traveling southbound near mile marker 79 around 11:45 a.m. when the accident occurred. For reasons that have not yet been ascertained, the driver appeared to lose control of the vehicle, causing it to roll over. This blocked the right lane of I-25. 

The single passenger, who has also not been identified pending notification of next-of-kin, did not survive the crash and was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver was airlifted via Flight for Life to a hospital with injuries presumed to be severe. The relationship between the driver and passenger has not yet been confirmed. The ensuing police investigation kept much of the highway closed for several hours. 

It will take more time for the investigation to conclude with a satisfactory cause for the accident. Once it does, Colorado law may require that charges be filed against the driver for negligence or recklessness. However, even if no such charges are filed, the family of the deceased are entitled under state law to file a wrongful death suit against the driver in civil court. In such a setting, the family is entitled to present any evidence of culpability on the part of the driver to support their claim. 

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