Snowmass police probe fatal wreck
Vail, CO Colorado
ASPEN, Colorado ” A former Snowmass Village man died Sunday evening when the sport utility vehicle he was reportedly driving flipped on Owl Creek Road.
Hector Quezada, 33, was one of four men returning from a golf outing at the Aspen Golf Club. Their Isuzu Trooper was heading toward Snowmass Village at 7 p.m. and had just crossed Sinclair Divide when the vehicle went off the road.
Despite rescue efforts, Quezada was pronounced dead shortly after he was transported to Aspen Valley Hospital, according to Snowmass police.
Two other people in the car ” Brandon Howard, 26, and Ryan Williams, 29, both of Snowmass Village ” were treated and released at the hospital. A third man in the vehicle, Moses Mogollon, 33, also of Snowmass, was uninjured.
Snowmass police, however, were still investigating accident details Monday evening.
“We need to put people in the right spot in the car,” said Todd Haller, a Snowmass police officer who responded to the scene. “We’re trying to solidify who was sitting where.”
“We’re investigating the accident along with the coroner’s office,” said Snowmass Police Chief Art Smythe. “Toxicology is a part of that, to see if alcohol is a contributing factor.”
The speed limit on that stretch of road is 35 mph, he said, and, so far, investigators only know that the driver of the SUV lost control coming down the hill.
Aspen police and Pitkin County Sheriff’s deputies also responded. Owl Creek was closed until 11 p.m. for the investigation.
No arrests had been made as of Monday evening, and many details were still sketchy.
One witness arrived on scene shortly after the accident but refused to give his name. The Isuzu Trooper followed him from Highway 82 up the winding curves of Owl Creek Road, the witness said.
But when the driver reached the wide meadow at the base of the divide, the Trooper crossed a double yellow line to pass his vehicle and three cars ahead of him.
The witness said the men had the windows open with the radio blaring and jumped the speed bumps on the flat stretch of road before the crest of the hill and later lost control on the downhill side.
The witness was one of the first on scene and dialed 911.
When he arrived, he saw one man, later identified as Quezada, who had been thrown from the vehicle. The other passengers were crawling out of SUV, which sat upside down over the embankment.
“There were beer bottles and golf clubs strewn about along the road,” the witness said.
Quezada did not have a pulse, and his friends began CPR until Snowmass/Wildcat firefighters arrived minutes later, the man said.
Quezada had been a longtime employee alongside Howard and Williams at the Snowmass Conference Center at the Silvertree Hotel but had recently moved to Glenwood Springs, according to police.
Mogollon works at the Mountain Dragon restaurant in Snowmass Village.
Quezada was a father of three children ages 3, 9 and 11, and the husband of Coty Damaso.
Nancy Damaso, Quezada’s sister-in-law, said she was surprised about the details of the accident because Quezada “never drives,” she said.
“He was always happy,” Damaso said. “Everybody loved him.”
“The word I would use is ‘gregarious,'” said Allison Campbell, Quezada’s boss and director of conference services at the Silvertree. “He walked in the room and people smiled.”
Campbell believes the three men ” longtime friends ” had the day off and decided to go golfing.
“We’re all just very in shock. Nobody expects to wake up and find out that one of his friends is dead,” Campbell said. “It’s a tragic loss. He will be sorely missed.”
The investigation is ongoing. Snowmass police are looking for more information about the incident and can be contacted at 923-5330.