Man in Carbondale crash airlifted to Grand Junction; tells flight crew he killed wife | PostIndependent.com
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Man in Carbondale crash airlifted to Grand Junction; tells flight crew he killed wife

The Toyota 4Runner shown here rear-ended a semi on Highway 133 just south of the Carbondale city limits on Feb. 16, 2015. The accident led to a homicide investigation, with the driver of the 4Runner telling authorities he killed his wife in a Carbondale apartment shortly before the accident.
Randy Essex / Post Independent |

The driver injured in an accident early Monday just south of the Carbondale city limits told emergency workers taking him to the hospital that he had killed his wife shortly before the crash.

According to Carbondale police, the unnamed driver of the Toyota 4Runner that rear-ended a semi truck around 7:15 a.m. near Roaring Fork High School was being airlifted to St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction when he told the flight crew that he had killed his wife in an apartment building.

The driver first was taken to Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs, then flown to St. Mary’s later in the day.



At about 2 p.m., police officers went to the reported site of the slaying, but found that the residents were not injured. Officers continued searching apartments in the area, and around 3:45 p.m. contacted a woman who was arriving home to her residence on Cooper Place, which is just off Main Street west of downtown Carbondale.

“The resident would not allow police officers to search her home, but agreed to check the apartment,” according to a Carbondale Police Department news release. “This resident then reported a deceased individual in the apartment with suspected knife wounds. The victim was obviously deceased.”



Police by midday Tuesday had not released names of either the victim or the suspect. The driver of the 4Runner was placed in protective custody at St. Mary’s, where he was being treated for his injuries, police said.

The accident, less than 2 miles from the apartment building, happened on dry roads when the driver of the 4Runner rear-ended an empty cattle truck that authorities said was about to make a left turn. The semi driver was not injured.

Deputy Fire Chief Rob Goodwin on Tuesday said the the transport to Valley View was “textbook,” but it’s a scary scenario for first responders, who can find themselves in the middle of a potentially volatile situation without realizing it.

“This is kind of a crazy business,” said Goodwin. “You don’t know what you’re going to run into based on what whoever called 911 told a dispatcher. Many times, when we get on scene, it is not what we thought it was. We try to keep our antenna up and have good situational awareness.”

Homicides are rare in Carbondale. In April 2003, Jessie Brooks was arrested for the shooting of Robert Rogers and ultimately charged with manslaughter. That last murder case in city limits was in January 1994, when Patrick O’Boyle shot and killed his roommate, Bryan Palmer.

Agencies assisting with the investigation include Garfield County Sheriff’s Department, Colorado State Patrol, Grand Junction Police Department, 9th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, Garfield County Coroner’s Office, Carbondale and Rural Fire Protection District and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

The story will be updated as details become available. Authorities were conducting interviews Tuesday.


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