Craig man pleads not guilty in highway fatality case

Moffat County Court judge sets Oct. 5 trial date for Nicholas Peroulis

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A Craig man charged in a December 2010 traffic fatality pleaded not guilty Monday morning.

Nicholas Anthony Peroulis is charged in Moffat County Court with careless driving resulting in death, a misdemeanor.

On Dec. 29, 2010, the vehicle Peroulis was driving allegedly struck Craig resident Justin Bliss, who later died from injuries.

Peroulis appeared Monday in front of Judge Sandra Gardner and was represented by his attorney, Darren Cantor. Prosecutor Matthew Tjosvold represented the 14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

Peroulis did not address the court during the hearing, which lasted only minutes. Cantor entered his plea.

Gardner set the trial for Oct. 5. A jury of six will decide the case.

Bliss was allegedly walking east at 5:15 a.m. Dec. 29 on the northern shoulder of U.S. Highway 40, near mile marker 89.

The Colorado State Patrol reported that Bliss was struck by part of a westbound tractor-trailer driven by Peroulis.

The vehicle was carrying a wide-load and was accompanied by an escort vehicle, the state patrol reported.

Part of the trailer’s load allegedly hung over the shoulder and hit Bliss.

He was taken to The Memorial Hospital in Craig and was pronounced dead at 5:37 a.m.

The state patrol reported that the incident wasn’t reckless in nature. Troopers also ruled out weather, drugs and alcohol as contributing factors.

Peroulis was the only person inside the tractor-trailer at the time of the incident, troopers reported. He was not injured.

Bliss was buried Dec. 31 in Olathe, where several family members live.

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