Man who drove off trail north of Glenwood Springs was drunk |

Man who drove off trail north of Glenwood Springs was drunk

Pete Fowler
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” A man who drove off a 700-foot embankment and died with his 9-year-old son on a rugged four-wheel drive road north of Glenwood Springs, Colorado on Oct. 19 was extremely drunk, an autopsy report shows.

James Blissett, 41, of Lakewood, had a blood-alcohol concentration of .296 percent. That’s nearly four times the amount someone is considered legally drunk at .08 percent. Blissett also tested positive for marijuana.

Both Blissett, and his son, Jessy, were ejected from the vehicle after leaving a hunting camp the night of Oct. 19. They were both pronounced dead at the scene at around 11:30 p.m.

The accident occurred about 9 miles north of Glenwood Springs on Transfer Trail near Windy Point after Blissett and his son left a high-country hunting camp.

Blissett’s wife, Melissa, told the Rocky Mountain News that the next day, Oct. 20, was the six-year anniversary of the murder of Blissett’s father, Jimmy Dale “Big Jim” Blissett. He was shot from behind at his Wheat Ridge plumbing business. The killer has never been caught.

The younger Blissett said at the time his family forgives the killer because he and his siblings were living up to how the elder Blissett raised his family with Christian values.

“The reason we forgive him is because we feel sorry for him because he is the one who has to live with this forever,” the younger Blissett told the Rocky Mountain News days after the killing. “It is a hard thing to do, to forgive, but we know it’s the right thing to do.”

Melissa Blissett corroborated reports that Blissett was upset when he left his brother-in-law and two nephews at their hunting camp. She didn’t go into detail as to why.

Garfield County sheriff’s community relations deputy Tanny McGinnis said this accident should serve to remind people why it’s important to drink responsibly. She said Blissett may not have intended to drink and drive, but excessive alcohol consumption along with whatever he was upset about may have led to the bad decision.

“People need to be really aware when they drink and be in control of how much they do drink,” McGinnis said.

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