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Fatal crash victims identified

Scott CondonAspen correspondentGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

The identities of the two people who died in a crash Tuesday on Highway 82 were released Wednesday by the Garfield County Coroner’s office.The male driver of the car was Elizeo Trinidad, 21. The female passenger was Noemy Ramos, whose age wasn’t available.The coroner’s office didn’t know any other details about the victims, such as local addresses or their places of employment.A passenger in the car remains in critical condition at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction. Authorities identified him as Julio Hernandez-Mendoza. Garfield County deputy coroner Steve Pollard said Trinidad’s body was being sent to Mexico for burial and that relatives had arranged for Ramos to be sent to El Salvador.Trinidad and Ramos were killed when their 2000 Kia Sephia slammed into a modular trailer that was being hauled across Highway 82 about 1 mile east of Catherine Store. They died at the scene, according to the Colorado State Patrol. None of the three occupants of the car was wearing seat belts.The truck in the accident was attempting to turn onto the eastbound lanes of the highway. The trailer stuck out broadside into the westbound or downvalley lanes. The car T-boned the trailer.The driver of the truck, Mark Chamness, 48, of Littleton, Colo., was cited for multiple violations by the CSP. (See related story below.)Trinidad and Ramos had relatives in the Carbondale area, but authorities faced difficulty determining whom to contact. The victims carried nothing that revealed their names.”We had no IDs, no driver’s licenses, no anything,” Pollard said.Authorities did have the victims’ cell phones. Two bilingual employees of the victims’ advocates office in Garfield County helped employees in the coroner’s office to cross-reference the telephone numbers stored and recently called on the cell phones. They eventually called some of the numbers and tactfully explained there had been an accident and asked them to come to the Farnum Holt Funeral Home in Glenwood Springs.Some cousins of Ramos identified her body. Trinidad was identified by his girlfriend, Pollard said. Authorities located the father of Hernandez-Mendoza and united him with his son in Grand Junction.Ramos has two sisters who have been longtime employees of City Market in Aspen, according to another worker there, Marleny Koch. She said it was her understanding that Ramos had two children, ages 2 and 5. Ramos’ sisters couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday. City Market employees are taking up a collection for the family. Donations are welcome.”We’re just trying to help out,” Koch said. “A little bit helps.”


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