Two Gypsum teenagers killed in car crash |

Two Gypsum teenagers killed in car crash

Veronica Whitney

GYPSUM – Two 19-year-old men from Gypsum were killed in a one-vehicle accident on Interstate 70 Saturday night, police said.Darren Salazar, the driver of the Dodge Neon, died at the scene of the accident from multiple internal injuries, said Eagle County Coroner Kara Bettis.The passenger, whose identity wasn’t available Sunday, was taken to Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs, where he was pronounced dead, Bettis said.This was the second fatal accident in the valley this weekend. An Avon man was killed when an unidentified vehicle hit him while he was walking on Interstate 70 early Saturday. An Avon woman was seriously injured Saturday when her car struck a deer near Avon. The accident near Gypsum happened at 10:40 p.m. at mile marker 142, State Patrol spokeswoman Geanna Weber said Sunday.The teenagers were headed westbound on the interstate when, for unknown reasons, their car traveled to the side of the road and then came back into the road and then off again, Weber said. The car then rolled three and a half times, and it came to rest in the eastbound section of the interstate. Salazar and the passenger were ejected from the car, Weber said.Police are investigating the accident for drug and alcohol use, Weber said. No autopsy was performed on Salazar, Bettis said. The Garfield County coroner, who handled the passenger’s death investigation, couldn’t be reached Sunday.Weber said the two teenagers weren’t wearing their seat belts when the accident happened.”Seat belts save lives,” Weber said. “Chances of surviving are better when you stay inside the vehicle when it’s rolling.”In a State Patrol safety display video, when the dummy isn’t in a seat belt during a rollover, he comes out of the car all the times, Weber said. When he is using the seat belt, he stays in the vehicle, she added.Searching for driverState Patrol troopers on Sunday were still searching for the driver of a pickup truck that allegedly hit an Avon man while he was walking on Interstate 70 early Saturday.Thomas Ishmael, 27, of Avon, was walking east on I-70 around 3:15 a.m. when he was hit by an unidentified vehicle, police said. The driver left without stopping, leaving Ishmael lying in the right eastbound lane, State Patrol Cpl. Larry Graves said Saturday. Then, a semi-truck driven by Debra Daniels, 43, of Kansas ran over Ishmael, police said. Daniels was unable to avoid striking the man and was not ticketed, Graves said. Ishmael was pronounced dead once police and ambulance crews arrived. Graves said it is unclear which accident ultimately killed Ishmael. “We have some descriptions of what police believe the vehicle looks like and we have forwarded the information on the vehicle to other agencies,” State Patrol spokeswoman Geanna Weber said Sunday.The vehicle that initially hit Ishmael is believed to be a dark green Chevy or GMC pickup truck with a Colorado license plate, Weber said. The truck should have damage on the driver’s side to the front bumper and grill area, the headlight and the door mirror. The passenger-side dark-tinted window was broken, she added. Saturday’s death is the second time in the past month that a pedestrian has been hit by a car on I-70 and killed. It’s the third serious accident involving a pedestrian in the past month, as well. Interstate 70 was closed eastbound until late morning Saturday at the Wolcott interchange and traffic was diverted on Highway 6 due to the accident. This accident occurred just moments after the Eagle River Fire Protection District, Eagle County Health Service District, Colorado State Patrol and Eagle County Sheriffs Office Deputy’s were cleaning up a single-vehicle injury accident east of the Edwards interchange.If you have any information regarding the crash, call State Patrol at (970) 824-6501 or any state law enforcement agency.Staff Writer Veronica Whitney can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 454 or ——————————————————————————–Vail, Colorado

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