Friends say accident victim was not drinking
CARBONDALE, Colorado ” An 85-year-old woman who was killed when she was run over while walking across an unlit portion of Highway 82 near her home Tuesday night was not drunk, according to a friend.
The Colorado State Patrol reported that alcohol was being investigated as possibly contributing to the accident that killed Pamela “Granny” McPherson shortly after 10 p.m. Tuesday about one-half mile east of the Highway 82/133 intersection. However, the investigation was ongoing at the time.
A call to the State Patrol seeking an update on the investigation and any determinations was not returned Thursday.
However, close friend Monk Berkemeier said McPherson only had a single glass of sherry with dinner at a friend’s house located across Highway 82 from her home. And that was several hours before the accident.
“It was simply a matter of, it was dark and she didn’t have her flashlight,” Berkemeier said. “They had dinner and sat around and talked for a while before she went home. We’re all just devastated by this.
“Granny hadn’t been high on alcohol in 35 years. Drinking wasn’t her thing,” he added. “She just made a mistake and misjudged the distance of the (oncoming) vehicles.”
According to the State Patrol, McPherson was crossing the four-lane highway from north to south when she was struck by a 1996 Plymouth minivan in the eastbound lanes. A second vehicle also struck McPherson, who was pronounced dead at the scene.
Both vehicles maintained control and stopped in the right shoulder. The eastbound lanes of Highway 82 were closed for approximately three hours while the accident was investigated.
Berkemeier, who was called to the scene, said the driver of the minivan was pretty distraught, and had to be assured she wasn’t at fault.
“She had to go back and tell the kids in the back seat that, not to worry, they just hit a deer,” he said.
Berkemeier said he had known McPherson since 1968 when he moved into the Snow Chase lodge in Aspen, which she owned and operated for two decades.
“I was sort of her adopted son. She was family, just not by blood,” he said.
Contact John Stroud: 384-9160
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