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RBC I There were three fatal vehicle accidents on county roads and highways in 2012 and 2011, according to the 2012 Rio Blanco County Sheriff’s Office 2012 annual report — although the total number of accidents increased by more than 29 percent in 2012 from 2011.
According the report, being compiled by Undersheriff Mike Joos, there were three fatal traffic crashes in Rio Blanco County during 2012, resulting in three fatalities. Two of those crashes were investigated by the Rio Blanco County Sheriff’s Office (RBCSO) and one crash was investigated by the Colorado State Patrol (CSP). That crash, Joos said, is not reflected in the RBCSO numbers.
The third fatal crash investigated by the sheriff’s office occurred on private property, so it is not considered a fatal crash or counted in the Colorado State Police (CSP) state traffic fatality count.
During 2011, there were four fatal crashes in Rio Blanco County, resulting in six deaths. Two of those crashes were investigated solely by the Colorado State Patrol and those crashes are not reflected in the RBCSO numbers.
One of the crashes investigated by the sheriff’s office, Joos said, occurred on a county road. The driver was trapped inside the vehicle for seven days, eventually dying from hypothermia. That crash is therefore not officially considered a fatal crash nor is it counted in the CSP state traffic fatality count, he said.
For 2012, there was a total of 303 crashes investigated by the sheriff’s office although eight were actually in locations outside county lines. There were 168 crashes investigated by the sheriff’s office and 127 investigated by the CSP. More than one enforcement agency may have responded to the accident, but the numbers given are for the agency that did the investigation. There were 14 crashes in the county that were investigated by the CSP without sheriff’s office personnel being involved.
In 2011, there was a total of 234 crashes investigated by the RBCSO although 10 of those occurred outside county lines. There were 115 crashes investigated by the sheriff’s office and 126 investigated by the CSP. There were 17 crashes in the county that CSP troopers responded to and investigated without assistance from the sheriff’s office.
In addition to the fatal accidents, statistics from 2012 indicated that there were 10 injury accidents, a total of 151 property damage crashes and five hit-and-run crashes.
The worst roads in Rio Blanco County for accidents in 2012 were Colorado State Highways 13, 64 and 139. Highway 13 had 37 accidents, Highway 64 had 36 accidents with two of those being injury accidents and Highway 139 had 25 accidents with one of those being a hit and run.
Those same roads were the worst in 2011 as well. Highway 13 had 26 property damage accidents with one of those being an injury accident; Highway 64 having reported 18 accidents with on fatality, one injury and one hit-and-run accident; and Highway 139 had 12 accidents.