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The following official press release from the Colorado State Patrol was released late Friday night:
On Friday, March 16, at approximately 10:14 a.m., local emergency personnel were dispatched to a three-vehicle crash on Colorado Highway 13 near milepost 35, approximately five miles south of Meeker.
A gray 2011 Dodge Caliber driven by Jessica Widmer, 28, of Rifle, Colo., with an additional female passenger, was traveling northbound on Highway 13. Widmer lost control of the Dodge Caliber on a curve and traveled into the southbound lane. The Dodge Caliber collided with a silver 2016 Ford Explorer driven by Amy Nieto, 32, of Craig, Colo., with four additional passengers which included another female, two female juveniles and a male juvenile. The Dodge Caliber was then struck by a silver 2008 Dodge Ram 3500 driven by Brandon Coutts, 43, of Craig, Colo., with one additional male passenger in the southbound lane.
Widmer was pronounced dead at the scene and her female passenger was ejected from the vehicle. The passenger was flown to St. Mary’s Medical Center in Grand Junction with serious injuries. Widmer was wearing a seatbelt. The passenger was not wearing a seatbelt.
All occupants in the Ford Explorer and Dodge Ram 3500 were wearing seatbelts.
The crash is currently under investigation by the Colorado State Patrol. Excessive speed for the roadway conditions is suspected as a contributing factor at this time. The roadway was icy in areas of the crash due to the adverse weather that had come thru the area.
The Colorado State Patrol would like to remind drivers to always wear seatbelts and to drive slower with hazardous road conditions.
Responders included; Rio Blanco County Sheriff’s Office, Rio Blanco County Fire and EMS, CDOT, Rio Blanco County Coroner, and the Colorado State Patrol.
It’s the first fatal crash on that stretch of Highway 13 this year. In 2017, there were a total of five fatalities between Meeker and Rifle.