Saturday crash with motorcycle claims life of DeBeque resident

Alex Zorn

Officials have identified the man killed in a wreck involving a motorcycle on westbound Interstate 70 near Rifle Saturday evening as 75-year-old De Beque resident Michael Kent Stephens.

Stephens died from his injuries in the wreck when a pickup truck collided with his motorcycle, ejecting him from his bike, according to Colorado State Patrol Trooper Josh Lewis.

Garfield County Coroner Rob Glassmire said Monday that Stephens was wearing a helmet, and that it appeared he died from head and neck injuries. Glassmire is investigating the manner of death as an accident, according to the press release.

The wreck occurred just before 6 p.m. Saturday at around milemarker 87 on I-70. Stephens was hit by a pickup truck driver who reportedly overcorrected when he went off the side of the roadway and attempted to come back on.

“[The pickup truck] was westbound on I-70 in the left lane,” Lewis said. “The motorcycle was westbound on I-70 in the right lane.”

The truck went off the left side of the roadway, came back onto the roadway across the left and into the right and ultimately collided with the motorcycle, he explained.

Stephens was thrown from his motorcycle and succumbed to injuries on scene, he added.

Trooper Lewis said that it does not appear that drugs and alcohol were factors, but it remains an open case and is still under investigation.

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