Verdict mixed in 2007 fatal accident

A Mesa County jury Wednesday convicted a man of careless driving in the death of a pedestrian on Interstate 70, but it determined he was not the proximate cause of the pedestrian’s death.

James Wilson, 30, stood trial on a lone count of careless driving resulting in death, a misdemeanor. The verdict in the two-day trial was read Wednesday in County Court Judge Gretchen Larson’s courtroom.

Careless driving, a minor traffic infraction, carries a maximum sentence of 90 days in jail and a fine up to $300.

Wilson, a Rifle resident at the time of the accident, will be sentenced April 30.

Wilson was westbound in his Ford Ranger pickup on the morning of Sept. 5, 2007, when he struck 50-year-old Paul Dobson, who was crossing I-70. Dobson, an over-the-road trucker from Las Vegas, had stopped his truck on the shoulder of I-70 near Clifton after he was involved in an accident with another driver.

Dobson was running across traffic to check on the other driver when he was struck by Wilson’s pickup. According to an arrest affidavit, Wilson told a Colorado State Patrol trooper he had his windshield wipers on at the time of the accident, and he thought he had struck “something” in the road.

“Wilson further stated everything happened so fast,” the affidavit said.

Wilson pulled over roughly 4,000 feet down the road and called 911. Alcohol and drugs were not factors, according to the State Patrol.


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