Driver in girl’s death suspected of DUI

Parker Neilsen

A 19-year-old man already in jail was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of his third drunken-driving offense, but he will not be charged in connection with the death of a woman who fell out of his truck on Oct. 16, the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department said.

Parker Neilsen, of Grand Junction, also was booked on suspicion of violating bail bond conditions, violation of a protection order and driving with a suspended license, all stemming from an accident on 18 Road in the predawn hours of Oct. 16. Caitlyn True, 17, of Fruita, died from injuries in the accident.

A St. Mary’s Hospital surveillance camera shows Neilsen’s pickup pulling up to the emergency room around 3:20 a.m., when he arrived with True, according to an arrest affidavit. She was admitted in critical condition, but died from her injuries.

At the hospital, Neilsen told a Grand Junction police officer he and True were leaving True’s home on 18 Road when he went through a turn and she fell out of the truck, the affidavit said.

Just more than two hours after arriving at the hospital, Neilsen was given the first of three blood draws to test for alcohol in his system. The first test had a preliminary result of 0.174 percent, more than double Colorado’s legal limit for driving under the influence.

Neilsen was free at the time on bond after a DUI arrest on Aug. 10, when an officer also alleged that he presented false identification, an arrest affidavit said. Booked at Mesa County Jail that night, officers confirmed Neilsen had an outstanding arrest warrant alleging failure to comply and driving with a license revoked in a DUI case.

Neilsen has been jailed since Oct. 22, when a judge revoked his bond.

On Tuesday, he was arrested in yet another case on suspicion of attempt to influence a public servant, committing a felony on bond and forgery. Neilsen was accused of presenting false documents to a judge about an alcohol evaluation in October.


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