More charges in fatal crash

A Rifle man has been charged in connection with a fatal rollover traffic accident June 29 in which another man faces a charge of criminally negligent homicide.

Richard Carlson, 48, was issued a felony summons on suspicion of careless driving causing death, and two counts of careless driving causing bodily injury, according to a Colorado State Patrol ticket filed at the Mesa County Justice Center on July 6.

On June 29, Carlson was the driver of a Subaru Outback eastbound on Interstate 70 in the left traffic lane near De Beque.

Carlson allegedly slammed into the back of a Ford Focus driven by Sharon Diaz of Grand Junction. A passenger in Diaz’s Focus, Jose Aragon, 60, was ejected from the vehicle and died.

Witnesses described Carlson’s Subaru as moving at a much greater speed than Diaz’s Focus, which had merged into the left lane of traffic because of the closure of the right lane.

Tinaurus Wise, 33, an over-the-road truck from Illinois, was charged with criminally negligent homicide and misdemeanor counts of reckless endangerment and obstructing a highway.

According to Wise’s arrest affidavit, he told troopers his tractor-trailer had broken down around 6:45 a.m. that day, and he moved orange safety cones into traffic, blocking the right lane, after he said several passing vehicles nearly hit his semi.

Wise told troopers he had been trying to signal traffic into the left lane before the accident, which happened around 2 p.m.

He is free on bond and scheduled to return to court Aug. 3.

Carlson is scheduled for a first appearance Friday.


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