DRINKING, LOVER’S QUARREL LED TO FATAL CRASH

DRIVER’S BLOOD ALCOHOL LEVEL WAS MORE THAN 2.5 TIMES LIMIT

FLOWERS, PHOTOS AND CANDLES adorn a light pole Monday at the intersection of North Avenue and Fifth Street, the site of Saturday morning’s fatal crash. The family of the driver who allegedly caused the crash said Tuesday that they were stunned at what had happened and that such behavior from the 20-year-old was out of character.



A Parachute man had been drinking with a friend and then got in a fight with his girlfriend before colliding at high speed with a pickup, killing a mother and daughter, according to court papers.

Derrick Maxfield, 20, had a blood-alcohol content of 0.21 percent, or more than 2.5 times the legal limit, investigators said. At age 20, it was illegal for Maxfield to drink at all.

Maxfield, a former star running back for the Grand Valley High School Cardinals in Parachute, remains in Mesa County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bond in connection with the collision and faces a hearing Thursday in which formal charges are expected to be filed. Maxfield has no criminal record and is being held on suspicion of vehicular homicide, vehicular assault and other offenses, including driving under the influence of alcohol.

Maxfield, according to the affidavit, remembered nothing of the events that immediately led up to the accident or the accident itself.

He did tell officers he had been playing a beer-drinking game at the home of a friend, Richard “Rico” Gallegos. He also got into a fight with his girlfriend “and everyone there told him to leave,” the affidavit says.

Maxfield confessed to drinking a beer and two shots of Crown Royal whiskey, the affidavit said.

The affidavit also addresses what happened in the other vehicle, a Chevrolet pickup.

Shandi Boetel, 21, and her 6-month-old daughter, Natalia Casiano, died after suffering multiple, blunt-force injuries in the collision. Boetel was in the passenger side of the pickup, which was driven by her common-law husband and Natalia’s father, Luis Casiano.

Boetel’s family had been under the impression she was driving when Maxfield’s vehicle ran a red light and plowed into the pickup at high speed. Maxfield’s vehicle was traveling more than 70 mph north on Fifth Street before striking the eastbound pickup at North Avenue, the affidavit says.

The affidavit alleged Maxfield ran several red lights in downtown Grand Junction and was driving so fast police had no chance to catch up to him.

Mesa County Deputy Sheriff Brian Prunty told Grand Junction police detectives he had left the jail just after midnight Saturday morning in his patrol car and was eastbound on Pitkin Avenue when he saw a northbound Honda Civic run the red light at Pitkin. The Civic also ran the red light at Ute Avenue, the affidavit said. Prunty told detectives he believed the Civic was traveling faster than 70 mph in a 35-mph zone.

Prunty activated his overhead lights and turned onto Fifth Street in pursuit but lost sight of the vehicle between Grand and Gunnison avenues, the affidavit said. The deputy next saw the Civic after it had crashed into a Chevrolet truck at Fifth and North, the affidavit said.

Prunty said he walked over to the Civic, which ended up on the grass at Martin Mortuary, pulled up the air bag and saw that the driver, Maxfield, was conscious and breathing and had blood on his face. Maxfield looked at the deputy, the affidavit said.

Prunty then walked over to the truck and saw the baby, Natalia, next to the truck by the curb.

He told detectives the baby was obviously dead. Boetel was having difficulty breathing, and her head was hanging out the window of the pickup. She died at St. Mary’s Hospital, the affidavit said.

Luis Casiano was taken to St. Mary’s with life-threatening injuries, the affidavit said.

Sentinel reporter Mike Wiggins contributed to this story.


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