Iraq vet hit at low speed, police say
Vail, CO Colorado
BRECKENRIDGE ” The exact reason behind Saturday’s bus accident that killed a Colorado National Guard soldier in Breckenridge is still unclear, but more details are emerging.
Summit County Coroner Joanne Richardson said Lynn Scutellaro, 28, was low to the ground when she was hit by a Breckenridge Trolley Bus just before 9 p.m. at the corner of Main and Watson streets.
Based on Scutellaro’s injuries and the trolley’s design, she couldn’t have been standing straight when she was struck, Richardson said.
Scutellaro became pinned underneath the trolley’s front axle after the collision. Richardson said they could still not rule whether Scutellaro’s death was an accident, involved foul play or was a suicide.
The Colorado State Patrol is leading the investigation into the death of Scutellaro, a National Guard helicopter pilot who returned home to Evergreen from Iraq last November after serving a 12-month tour with Colorado’s 89th Troop Command.
She was staying in her parents’ Liftside Inn condo in Breckenridge during the weekend.
The trolley, driven by David W. Vickers, was likely traveling no more than 20 miles per hour at the time of the Scutellaro was hit, said Trooper Kirk Firko, a state patrol investigator.
“There are too many what-ifs at this point to tell what happened,” he said.
Firko said investigators believe Scutellaro had been drinking but would not say why they think that. Toxicology tests are underway, he added
Vickers has been employed by the Town of Breckenridge for eight months, according to the Breckenridge Police Department. He did not return a phone call seeking comment Monday afternoon.
Three passengers were riding in the trolley when Scutellaro was struck, two of whom police haven’t been able to locate. They are still interviewing one passenger.
The town of Breckenridge issued a joint statement from Mayor Ernie Blake and town manager Tim Gagen on Monday afternoon saying:
“We are all deeply saddened by this unfortunate accident and our deepest sympathies go out to the family of Capt. Lynn Scutellaro. The town will be conducting a full investigation into the accident with the assistance of the Colorado State Patrol.”
The statement said that Breckenridge has had an in-town public transportation system since 1987, and in 1997 the town took over full transit operations. This was the first fatal accident in that 20-year timespan.
“We hold our employees to high standards and require that they complete mandatory safety trainings,” the statement said. “Our transit system logs over 280,000 miles safely carrying over 550,000 passengers annually. This was a tragedy, and our hearts go out to both the victim’s family and our driver.”
Scutellaro’s parents declined to comment on their daughter’s death through a National Guard liaison.