A judge Friday sentenced a Meeker teen to probation and community service for his role in a rollover car accident that took the life of his cousin last fall.
Bryson J. Davies, 19, was speeding on Oct. 8 when he lost control of the truck he was driving on Rio Blanco County Road 11, Colorado State Patrol said. The vehicle rolled three times down an embankment.
Davies was driving 62 mph in a 25-mph zone at the time of the accident, according to the State Patrol.
Davies' cousin, Natasha Gutierrez, 18, of Meeker, was thrown from the vehicle. She suffered massive head trauma and died from her injuries.
Natasha was the niece of Moffat County High School wrestling coach Roman Gutierrez.
The other two passengers also were injured. None of the four teens was wearing seatbelts.
In a Meeker courtroom Friday, Davies pleaded guilty to speeding more than 25 mph over the speed limit and two counts of careless driving causing death or injury.
Ninth Judicial District Chief Judge T. Peter Craven sentenced Davies to two years of probation and 200 hours of community service.
The emphasis for Davies' community service will be on promoting vehicle safety in area high schools.
Joe Gutierrez, Natasha's father, said he was happy with the sentence.
Prosecutors originally pushed for prison time for Davies, something Gutierrez said he didn't want.
Alcohol was not a factor, Gutierrez said. If alcohol had been involved, Gutierrez said he might have felt different about his nephew's punishment.
Gutierrez said he hopes other teens learn from Natasha's death.
"They're not invincible," he said.
Gutierrez said he hopes by talking to other teens at area high schools, he and Davies will have an effect.
"If we can save one life," Gutierrez said, "then we've done something."
Brandon Johansson can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 213, or firstname.lastname@example.org.