DA files vehicular homicide charge
20-year-old charged in death of prosecutor
The 14th Judicial District Attorney's Office alleges a 20-year-old man's reckless driving in December 2008 caused the death of a longtime Wyoming federal prosecutor.
Logan Robert Arambel, of Holly, was charged late Friday afternoon in Moffat County with vehicular homicide, a Class 4 felony. The charge is in connection with a Dec. 26, 2008, accident on Colorado Highway 13 in northern Moffat County, between Craig and Baggs, Wyo.
Arambel, according to the charging document, "drove a motor vehicle in a reckless manner, and the conduct was the proximate cause of the death of John Barksdale."
Barksdale, 62, was a chief lawyer on criminal cases in the U.S. Attorney's Office since 1992.
According to a Colorado State Patrol arrest affidavit, Arambel's white 1995 Ford F-350 was heading south on Highway 13, and Barksdale's white 2000 Ford Taurus was heading north.
Arambel was driving behind two semitrailers, and he attempted to pass the first in snowy conditions with limited visibility, according to the affidavit. His truck struck Barksdale's car head on, the State Patrol reported.
Barksdale was found unresponsive at the scene, the State Patrol reported, and he was transported to The Memorial Hospital in Craig and then airlifted to St. Mary's Hospital in Grand Junction.
He suffered severe head trauma, several broken bones and never regained consciousness after the collision, according to the affidavit. He died Dec. 28 from injuries sustained in the collision, the State Patrol reported.
The arrest affidavit summed up the investigation's findings.
Arambel, the State Patrol reported, "drove his vehicle in a reckless manner by knowingly attempting to pass two southbound 18-wheeled semi-truck and trailers when there was little to no vision of roadway width, grade or vehicles approaching from the opposite direction."
His conduct of "taking a substantial and unjustified risk" of passing the vehicles resulted in "Arambel colliding head on with a vehicle driven northbound by John R. Barksdale," the State Patrol concluded.
A warrant was issued for Arambel's arrest, and he reported Friday to the Moffat County Jail, where he was booked into custody. He was released later that day on a $25,000 personal recognizance bond.
According to paperwork his attorney, Larry Combs, of Steamboat Springs, filed with the court, Arambel has never been arrested for a felony before, was a student at Lamar Community College and served as a volunteer with the Lamar Volunteer Fire Department.
A condition of his release from custody, according to court records, was that he not operate a motor vehicle while the case against him is pending.
Joshua Roberts can be reached at 875-1791, or firstname.lastname@example.org.