Boulder hits, kills driver in Pitkin County


A boulder the size of a briefcase fell on a sport utility vehicle on Colorado Highway 82 on Friday, killing the driver and injuring one of the four passengers.

Thomas Murphy of Kansas City, Mo., was pronounced dead at Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs. He was driving a 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe with his wife and three sons as passengers when the boulder struck the SUV at milepost 27.7 in Pitkin County, according to the Colorado State Patrol.

The boulder hit Murphy and knocked him unconscious, forcing his wife, Jennifer, to try to control the vehicle from the front passenger seat, the State Patrol said in a news release.

Jennifer Murphy put the vehicle in neutral in hopes it would come to a stop, which it did after a little more than a mile, the State Patrol said.

The Murphys’ 11-year-old son was injured in the accident. The State Patrol did not know his condition as of Friday night.

The other two boys, ages 8 and 4, were not injured.

The Murphy family had been vacationing in Pitkin County and was on its way back to Kansas City when the accident happened. The boulder fell from a mountain. The Tahoe was traveling the speed limit at the time of the accident.


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