Aborted pass attempt led to head-on, 2 deaths

UPDATE: The Garfield County Coroner has identified the two men killed in a Tuesday head-on wreck near Rifle as Dewey J. Tafoya, 79, of Craig, and Nathan L. Nazer, 59, of Roosevelt, Utah.

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A head-on collision in which two people were killed Tuesday north of Rifle was caused when one of them tried to pass a truck and then changed his mind, the Colorado State Patrol says.

It says a 79-year-old Craig man was driving a 2011 Chevy pickup truck north on Colorado Highway 13 at about mile marker 15 around 4:17 p.m. and tried to pass a tractor with trailer driven by Jimmy Arnett, 56, of Mack.

Another tractor with trailer driven by a 59-year-old man from Roosevelt, Utah, was heading south at the time, and the pickup truck driver aborted the attempted pass and moved back into the northbound lane.

In the process, the front of the pickup struck the rear of the truck driven by Arnett, became airborne and hit the southbound truck head-on.

The Craig and Utah men both died on the scene. The Garfield County Coroner’s Office hasn’t yet released their names.

Arnett wasn’t injured, the State Patrol said.

It said the southbound truck was carrying a full tanker load of propane gas, but no hazardous materials were spilled.

The accident closed the highway in both directions.


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