New Castle men ID’d in March 12 fatal crash on I-70 |

New Castle men ID’d in March 12 fatal crash on I-70

The two men killed in a head-on collision with a semi on Interstate 70 early the morning of March 12 were identified Tuesday by the Garfield County Coroner’s Office as Alan Lopez and Braydon Anastasio, both 23, of New Castle.

The Colorado State Patrol responded to the crash shortly after 1 a.m. March 12 at mile point 108.5. Followup investigation determined that a westbound Subaru wagon driven by Lopez crossed through the median and into the path of an eastbound semi-tractor trailer.

Lopez and his passenger, Anastasio, were both ejected from the vehicle and died on scene, according to incident reports.

Autopsies on the two victims were completed Monday by a contract forensic pathologist working for the Coroner’s Office.

“Both Mr. Lopez and Mr. Anastasio died of blunt force injuries and their manner of deaths will be certified as accident,” Coroner Robert Glassmire reported.

State Patrol Master Trooper Gary Cutler said Sunday that excessive speed and alcohol were suspected contributors to the crash.

“Toxicology on both decedents will not be available for several weeks,” Glassmire said.

The driver of the semi, Alexander Whalen, 34, of Morristown, Tennessee, was taken to Valley View Hospital with serious injuries.

The crash resulted in a lengthy closure of Interstate 70 in both directions while the investigation was ongoing, and traffic was diverted onto U.S. 6 and 24 in the meantime. I-70 was not fully reopened until 11:35 a.m. Saturday, Cutler said.

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