Rangely woman killed in rollover on Highway 64

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A 24-year-old Rangely woman was killed Saturday morning in a one-vehicle rollover accident about 27 miles west of Meeker on Colorado Highway 64.

The woman's 4-year-old daughter, who was restrained by a child safety seat, escaped with minor scrapes, said Colorado State Patrol Cpl. Brian Bagley.

Crystal Blankenship was driving a 1998 Chrysler Sebring west on the highway. At about 11 a.m., the vehicle's right-side tires came off the highway at a point where the road curves to the left.

Then, Blankenship made several attempts to regain control of the car, but it left the road and collided with a fence and rolled down a steep embankment onto its roof.

Based on the evidence at the scene, Bagley said he ruled out excessive speed or falling asleep at the wheel.

"The bottom line is that the driver failed to give the proper amount of steering input. ... It basically boils down to driver inattention. Beyond that, the reasons for the driver inattention would all be speculation," Bagley said.

Moments after the accident, a truck driver drove up to the scene and went to a nearby ranch house to call for help. Blankenship, who was partially ejected from the vehicle, was pronounced dead at the scene by the Rio Blanco County deputy coroner. She was not wearing a seatbelt.

The child was taken to Rangely District Hospital and treated for minor injuries.

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