UPDATE: Coroner identifies victims in fatal I-70 wreck | PostIndependent.com

UPDATE: Coroner identifies victims in fatal I-70 wreck

Staff Report

The two victims killed in single-vehicle wreck on Interstate 70 Monday morning have been identified.

Garfield County Coroner Robert Glassmire identified the driver as Russell Lashus, a 48-year-old Parachute resident. His brother-in-law, Branden Jowell, a 42-year-old Parachute resident, was riding in the vehicle, a 1997 Pontiac Sunfire.

Both were dead at the scene. They were wearing seat belts, according to Glassmire.

Autopsies for both victims are scheduled for Tuesday, although Glassmire identified the cause of death as multiple injuries and the manner of death as an accident

Lashus was driving eastbound on I-70 when the vehicle ran off the left side of the interstate near mile marker 87, said Nate Reid, a Colorado State Patrol trooper. Lashus lost control of the vehicle in the center median and the car rolled twice.

Reid said an investigator at the scene suspected alcohol was involved in the crash. Reid did not have specific details as for what led to that determination.

Glassmire said he did not observe any indicators pointing toward alcohol being involved, but would not comment one way or another until toxicology tests are completed.

When those results will be ready could vary, but he said he is hoping to have some idea of whether alcohol was involved tomorrow.

Eastbound I-70 was closed between the Rulison exit and west Rifle exit for about four hours Monday morning following the wreck.

The Post Independent will update this story as more information becomes available.

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