New Castle man dies in Jeep accident |

New Castle man dies in Jeep accident

RIFLE – “Due to a car accident, this store will no longer be open.”That’s the sign on the front door of Phones R Us in Rifle on Railroad Avenue, just south of the City Market grocery store.Owner Timothy W. Curtiss, 41, of New Castle, a 20-year resident of the valley, died early Sunday morning in a car accident while jeeping with friends.”The store is closing for good,” affirmed friend and employee Mary Branham of New Castle.According to the Colorado State Patrol, the driver of the 2006 Jeep Wrangler, Harley “Dow” Rippy Jr., 50, of Silt, was driving around 1 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 20, heading westbound on County Road 344, approximately 14 miles south of Silt, when the vehicle went off the left side of the road, down a small embankment and rolled onto its left side.Curtiss, who was in the back seat, was pronounced dead at the scene.Rippy was lodged in the Garfield County Jail on initial charges of no proof of insurance, a misdemeanor; driving under the influence, a misdemeanor; and vehicular homicide, a felony.He posted an $11,750 bond shortly after 8 p.m. on Sunday and was released from the Garfield County Jail. His next court appearance is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 6.A funeral service for Curtiss is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 26, according to friends.

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