Two Parachute men killed in I-70 wreck
Two Parachute men died Monday morning after their vehicle rolled several times on Interstate 70 near Rifle.
Garfield County Coroner Robert Glassmire identified the driver as Russell Lashus, 48. His brother-in-law, Branden Jowell, 42, was riding in the vehicle.
Both were dead at the scene. They were wearing seat belts, according to Glassmire.
Autopsies for both victims are scheduled for today, although Glassmire identified the cause of death as multiple injuries and the manner of death as an accident
Lashus was driving a 1997 Pontiac Sunfire eastbound on I-70 when the vehicle ran off the left side of the interstate near mile marker 87, said Nate Reid, a Colorado State Patrol trooper. Lashus lost control of the vehicle in the center median, and the car rolled twice.
Reid said an investigator at the scene suspected alcohol was involved in the crash. Reid did not have specific details as for what led to that suspicion.
Glassmire said he did not observe any indicators pointing toward alcohol being involved, but would not comment one way or another until toxicology tests are completed.
When those results will be ready could vary, but he said he is hoping to have some idea of whether alcohol was involved tomorrow.
Eastbound I-70 was closed between the Rulison exit and west Rifle exit for about four hours Monday morning following the wreck.
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Crews worked for more than an hour extinguishing the blaze. No one was injured in the fire.