Local girl dies from car accident

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About 18 and a half hours after suffering severe injuries in a one-car rollover accident Friday on U.S. Highway 40, 18-year-old Lindsey Everding was pronounced dead at Denver Health hospital.

Everding, a Craig resident, was riding in the passenger seat of Michaela Bulla's 2003 Jeep Liberty when Bulla lost control of the vehicle and slid off the side of the road, according to a Colorado State Patrol news release.

The two were traveling east on U.S. 40 until the vehicle crashed about 5:20 a.m. about two miles west of Hayden in Routt County.

The Jeep rolled onto its driver's side before sliding down a steep embankment, the State Patrol release states.

It collided with two trees on its way down, hurling Everding, who reportedly was not wearing her seatbelt, from the front seat into the back of the SUV.

Bulla, who the release states was wearing her seatbelt, suffered minor injuries. She was treated at Yampa Valley Medical Center in Steamboat Springs and released.

Everding was flown to Denver Health, where she died at 11:54 p.m. Friday.

State Patrol Trooper Michael Heath said authorities think the Jeep was traveling too fast on wet road conditions, which played a factor in the crash. Drugs and alcohol are not considered part of the cause.

Everding graduated from Moffat County High School in May 2008.

High School counselor Carroll Moore said students are welcome to speak to her or any of the high school's counselors about the accident.

Moore said residents also may call Craig Mental Health at 824-6541 or Hope Line Network at 1-800-784-2433.

The number of fatal crashes was down in Northwest Colorado this year compared to last year, said Capt. Rich Munroe, with the State Patrol in Craig.

From Nov. 1, 2008, to Monday, there had been four. Two were in Moffat County, two in Rio Blanco County and none in Routt County.

Munroe advised drivers to stay cautious, even as the weather seems to warm up.

"Drivers shouldn't (take for granted) that roads this time of year will just be wet," he said. "On bridges and dark corners, they can still ice up. And don't forget to slow down."

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