Fatal-crash victim’s mom blasts Fruita cops

Samantha Loy died minutes after a traffic stop the morning of Feb. 8.

The mother of a Grand Junction woman who died in a drunken-driving crash won’t rest until she has some more answers. That’s the pledge Susan Giffin gave to Fruita City Council members Tuesday.

Giffin said she wants the city leaders to press for another investigation into the actions of Fruita Police Department officer Nick Peck, who let her daughter, Samantha Loy, go after a traffic stop the morning of Feb. 8 in Fruita. Loy died minutes later when she crashed her vehicle on Interstate 70.

“I think he let a pretty girl go; maybe she talked him out of it,” Giffin said. “He should have at least gotten suspended until the investigation was done.”

Giffin is circulating a petition for residents to sign and request another investigation.

A dozen days after the crash, an internal investigation involving two sergeants at the Fruita Police Department determined there was no criminal wrongdoing by either Peck, an officer of seven years on the force, or Josh Dove, an officer of a year. Dove arrived later for backup during that traffic stop. Peck said in his report that there were no indications Loy had been drinking.

Fruita Police Chief Mark Angelo has declined Daily Sentinel requests for the investigation documents and has maintained Peck did nothing wrong in handling the traffic stop of Loy.

Council members Tuesday night listened intently and didn’t object when Giffin spoke longer than the five-minute allotment afforded members of the public.

Fruita City Mayor Ken Henry said the council passed along to the city attorney and the city’s insurance company the packet of information, including an intent to sue, provided by Giffin.

“Believe me, the mayor and the city are saddened by the death of your daughter,” Henry said.

“We certainly see your hurt. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.”


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