Pedestrian killed by tractor-trailer
SILT — Ariselli Penaloza, who reportedly was struck by a tractor trailer on I-70 near here on Dec. 9, died either at the scene or at Valley View Hospital, authorities said on Thursday, and an investigation into the accident continues.
A second woman who was with Penaloza, reportedly named Nancy Marchovic, was taken to the same hospital with serious injuries, according to authorities.
Valley View, however, has no record of either woman having been admitted, according to Lisa Zahl, director of medical records at the hospital.
Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario, in an email to the Post Independent on Thursday, wrote that the two women were passengers in a westbound vehicle owned by an unidentified man at about 6 p.m. on Dec. 9, when Penaloza reportedly “started freaking out,” according to interviews of those involved.
“She threw items out of the vehicle, broke a window and a mirror, and initiated an altercation with [Marchovic],” Vallario wrote, although he did not identify either woman, nor did he say where they are from or what their ages are.
The driver pulled over to the shoulder and both women got out, “presumably at his request,” Vallario continued. “The male drove away while apparently the altercation between the two females continued and spilled into the lane of traffic where they were both hit by a semi. One female was killed, and one is in the hospital.”
Interviews conducted so far have not led to charges being filed against either the man who left the women on the highway or the driver of the semi, Vallario said, though the investigation results will be turned over to the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s office for a final determination.
“At this point I do not see any criminal behavior on the part of the truck driver, the male driver of the vehicle or the surviving victim,” Vallario wrote.
Neither Vallario’s office nor the Colorado State Patrol issued bulletins about Penaloza’s death on Monday night, and Vallario wrote on Thursday that his department would not be releasing names at that point, either.
Vallario stressed that the case is still active, and that his department does not release details about ongoing investigations.
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Garfield County counted five new deaths attributed to COVID-19 over the past six weeks, even as the county’s vaccination rate continues to go up.