Driver killed, four injured when car, truck collide

UPDATE: Wednesday, 4:45 p.m

Rachel E. Counts, 19, of De Beque, has been identified as the deceased driver of a two-vehicle crash near De Beque, according to the Mesa County Coroner’s Office.

Five other passengers were in the vehicle at the time of the crash. Four of those passengers were taken to hospitals for their injuries, according to the Colorado State Patrol.

Alcohol and excessive speed are considered factors in the crash, the State Patrol said.

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A suspected intoxicated female driver was killed and four of the five other passengers were hospitalized in a crash with a semi Tuesday night on the De Beque cutoff road, according to Sgt. Scott Simons of Colorado State Patrol.

One of the victims taken to a local hospital who was a passenger in the Dodge Durango was a toddler, estimated to be about 4 years old, Simons said.

At about 6:30 p.m., the driver of the Durango was headed west on the frontage road, west of the De Beque Interstate 70 ramp, when the vehicle collided with a semi whose driver was attempting to make a left-hand turn, Simons said.

Simons said witnesses at the scene reported the driver of the Durango appeared to speeding at about 70 mph down the two-lane road when the crash occurred. The driver was not wearing a seat belt and was thrown from the driver’s seat upon impact. A number of bottles of alcohol were found on the scene and the deceased driver smelled of alcohol.

“It sounds like it’s excessive speed and lots of alcohol use here,” Simons said.

The sixth passenger in the vehicle was released on the scene after being checked out by paramedics. Simons said the names of the passengers or the deceased driver were not available Tuesday night.



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