Memorial Day weekend 'normal' in Craig

Granby teen killed in head-on collision in Grand County

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Local law enforcement agencies dealt with a "normal" weekend for the Memorial Day holiday break this year.

Patrols by the Craig Police Department, the Moffat County Sheriff's Office and the Colorado State Patrol in and around the Grand Olde West Days festivities and Craig handled fights, parties and DUI enforcement.

"From what I understand, it was busier than last year I didn't walk the carnival last year and this year we were just running from fight to fight," Colorado State Patrol Trooper Brad Keadle said. "We walked through for six hours. We saw a lot of underage drinking. With the three-day weekend and graduation, the kids were out feeling their oats. It was a pretty exciting weekend."

For Troop 4B, which patrols Grand, Moffat, Routt, Rio Blanco and Eagle counties, there were 8 DUI arrests for the holiday weekend out of 300 statewide and 3 crashes believed to involve alcohol. One DUI arrest was made in Craig.

Keadle said the most tragic incident of the weekend was the death of a high school senior on Friday in Grand County. The student, who attended Granby High School, was killed in a head-on collision on the way to graduation rehearsal. He was not wearing a seatbelt, Keadle said.

"The kid that died was an honors student, a sharp kid," Keadle said. "He had a book, the Seven Habits of Highly Successful Teenagers, in his car with him.

"Just what I always tell people happened: He wasn't wearing his seatbelt, gets in an accident, and he drilled his head against the windshield and died."

The student was driving a Dodge Neon that had an airbag and struck a Ford Explorer head-on Friday morning at mile marker 212 on Highway 40. The Ford Explorer was not equipped with an airbag but the driver, a junior at Granby High School, was wearing a seatbelt, Keadle said.

The weekend for Moffat County, however, was a fairly quiet one for the sheriff's office, MCSO Chief Investigator K.C. Hume said.

"It was an average weekend, comparable to other recent holiday weekends," Hume said. "A good thing I did hear about was there were designated drivers out this weekend a lot of stops had a car with three people that were drinking and the driver was fine. That's good to see, but I don't know if it means people were just doing it because they knew the cops would be out this weekend or whether they're learning to be more responsible."

The Craig Police Department had its "normal number of disturbances, loud parties and fights" for the holiday break, Craig Police Chief Walt Vanatta said.

"We were busy, but nothing out of the ordinary, and we had plenty of people out because the weather was gorgeous and everyone was in the holiday spirit," he said. "Everything seemed to go pretty smoothly in general."

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