Driver in fatal crash admits to drinking

'I didn’t want to take another life,’ Iraq veteran tells cops

A 28-year-old Fruitvale woman was killed and two 11-year-old boys who were riding in her vehicle were seriously injured after the woman’s vehicle was rammed Sunday night by the driver of a truck who told police he drank five beers earlier that day.

Brandon Alan Walton, 25, 249 South Palace Circle, was being held in Mesa County Jail on Monday on a $25,000 bond. He could face felony charges including vehicular homicide, vehicular assault, hit-and-run causing death and driving under the influence of alcohol.

Just before 6 p.m., Ashley Chapman was driving three 11-year-old boys, one of whom is her son, when her Nissan was struck by a 1980 Ford F-150, driven by Walton, who allegedly ran a red light.

The impact of the crash pushed Chapman’s vehicle into a nearby yard, but a witness at the scene told police the male driver of the truck continued to drive south on 30 Road, according to an arrest affidavit for Walton.

The identities of two 11-year-old boys were not released Monday, but a source close to the family said Chapman’s son was treated and released from St. Mary’s Hospital. The other two boys face life-threatening injuries at a Denver hospital.

Officers located a truck matching the description of the suspect’s vehicle at a dead end of 30 Road, south of D Road. The male driver had a bloody lip and was standing outside the vehicle, swaying, the affidavit said. Walton told police he had been watching a football game and had five beers between 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., then decided to drive to his parents’ home.

According to the affidavit, as police asked Walton to perform roadside maneuvers, Walton said, “I know what I did,” placed his hands behind his back and in anticipation of being handcuffed said, “Just get it over with.”

While receiving a blood test to determine his blood alcohol content, Walton several times asked how the other driver was doing. After learning she died, he “began to cry, hung his head ... and said, ‘I took someone’s life. I didn’t want to take another life,’ ” the affidavit said.

Walton’s father, Ron Walton, said in court Monday that his son was recently discharged from the United States Marine Corps after serving two tours fighting in Iraq.


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