De Beque teen dies in rollover

A De Beque teenager was killed and two other teens were injured in a rollover accident near De Beque late Saturday night that authorities said was caused in part by mud covering the truck’s headlights.

James E. Jack, 18, was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident on X 1/2 Road, just west of 45 Road and two miles north of town, according to the Colorado State Patrol.

Troopers were called out just before midnight and found a 1997 Ford pickup went off the right side of the road for 150 feet, spun and rolled once.

Jack, the driver, was thrown from the vehicle, the State Patrol said.

Alex Rice, 16, who was sitting in the middle of the front seat, was taken to the hospital for undisclosed injuries.

Brandon McCormick, 15, who was sitting on the right side of the front seat, suffered injuries but wasn’t taken to the hospital, the State Patrol said.

None of the three was wearing a seat belt.

Trooper Mike Heath said the teens had been out four-wheeling all day Saturday, splattering the truck’s headlights with mud that may have kept Jack from seeing a curve in the road.

“(The headlights) weren’t shining as brightly as they should have been,” Heath said. “There was a curve to the left, and they just didn’t see it coming.”

Troopers also suspect speed was a factor in the accident.


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