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September 16, 2011
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DA reviewing charges in fatal log truck crash

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado - The driver of a logging truck who allegedly ran a stoplight on Highway 82 south of Glenwood Springs and slammed into a Jeep, killing a 24-year-old woman, is due in traffic court later this month.

In the meantime, the 9th District Attorney's Office is reviewing the case to determine if additional charges should be filed.

As it stands, John H. Briggs, 58, of Del Norte, Colo., has been issued a court summons to answer to a charge of careless driving causing death, a traffic violation. He is due to appear in Garfield County Court on Sept. 29.

According to the Colorado State Patrol, Briggs was southbound in his logging rig on Highway 82 about four miles south of Glenwood Springs on Aug. 16 when he ran a red light at the Buffalo Valley turnoff.

The rig slammed into a Jeep driven by Claudia Tena de Ramirez, 24, of Glenwood Springs, who was making a left hand turn from Garfield County Road 154 onto Highway 82. De Ramirez was killed in the accident.

"We have received all of the reports from the State Patrol and are reviewing the case," Chief Deputy District Attorney Jim Leuthauser said. He declined to speculate what, if any, additional charges the review might lead to.

The traffic offense of careless driving causing death could carry a sentence of up to one year in the county jail, as well as possible revocation of Briggs' driver's license, Leuthauser said.

Briggs was released on a summons, and is not in custody.

De Ramirez was wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident, according to State Patrol reports, and was the only occupant in the vehicle. Briggs was not wearing a seat belt, but was not injured in the crash.

jstroud@postindependent.com


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The Post Independent Updated Sep 16, 2011 12:52AM Published Sep 16, 2011 12:51AM Copyright 2011 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.