Father dies in truck crash, less than two years after son’s fatal accident

The Colorado State Patrol is investigating a one-vehicle rollover accident that left one man dead on Highway 340 several miles east of the Fruita entrance to the Colorado National Monument Thursday. The accident, which occurred at the base of Question Mark Hill about mile marker 4 1/2, closed the highway in both directions.

A Fruita man who died Thursday when his truck rolled near the west entrance to Colorado National Monument was the father of a man who died in an automobile accident less than two years ago.

John Luther Fullmer III, 48, was driving a 2005 GMC Sierra truck east on Colorado Highway 340 about three miles from the entrance to the Monument when he veered off the right side of road, came back on the road and went off the right side again about 5 p.m., Colorado State Patrol Cpl. Dennis O’Leary said.

The truck rolled once, and Fullmer, who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The accident happened at a curve. Investigators don’t know why Fullmer’s truck veered off the road, noting there was no evidence that Fullmer braked or was speeding. There also was no evidence of alcohol.

The accident caused the closure of Colorado 340 in both directions for about three hours.

Fullmer’s son, John L. Fullmer IV, 23, died Feb. 15, 2009, when a vehicle he was riding in slammed into a pole on U.S. Highway 6&50 at 24 3/4 Road. The driver, 23-year-old Jesse Reed, pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and driving under the influence and was sentenced to a year in jail and six years in community corrections.

In an interview with The Daily Sentinel last November, Fullmer III said he had forgiven Reed for causing his son’s death.

Reached by phone late Thursday night, Hidie Chase, secretary and treasurer for the Mesa County Junior Football Association, said she had known the elder Fullmer for 10 years and that he was affiliated with the organization for more than 20 years. She said Fullmer had “a heart of gold” and was a father figure to many of the boys he coached.

“He was a great man, and God has him in His hands now,” Chase said.

She said Fullmer’s youngest son, Shai, plays football for Fruita Monument High School.


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