Craig man not guilty in 2010 pedestrian fatality



“This was a terribly sad and tragic accident, but it was never a crime. I feel for the Bliss family, we all do, including Tony, but that doesn’t change the fact that this was an accident.”

— Darren Cantor, a Denver attorney who represented Craig man Nicholas Peroulis during a jury trial this week in Moffat County Court

A jury returned from deliberations Thursday night with a not guilty verdict in the case of a Craig man on trial in Moffat County Court for the 2010 death of a pedestrian.

Nicholas Anthony Peroulis, owner of Peroulis Brothers trucking company, was charged in county court with one count of careless driving resulting in death, a misdemeanor.

His trial began Wednesday and ended Thursday night. The jury began deliberating about 6:10 p.m., and returned with the verdict in less than 30 minutes, according to court records.

Peroulis was driving a wide-load tractor-trailer westbound on U.S. Highway 40 for Utah in the early morning hours of Dec. 28, 2010.

His vehicle struck Craig resident Justin Dean Bliss, 34, who was walking on the side of the highway, near the Black Nugget Motel.

First responders tried to revive Bliss, but were unsuccessful. He was pronounced dead at approximately 5:37 a.m. at The Memorial Hospital in Craig.

Denver attorney Darren Cantor represented Peroulis in the jury trial.

“This was a terribly sad and tragic accident, but it was never a crime,” Cantor said. “I feel for the Bliss family, we all do, including Tony, but that doesn’t change the fact that this was an accident.”

Matthew Tjosvold, a deputy district attorney in Moffat County, prosecuted the case for the 14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office. Tjosvold declined to comment on the case, citing ethical responsibilities.

Cantor said the Bliss family attended the trial. However, no one from the family could be reached for comment Friday.

Click here to have the print version of the Craig Daily Press delivered to your home.


ruralmom 5 years, 3 months ago

Yes, this was a tragic accident, but are you kidding! of course, this was careless driving. I feel there is a equal fault from both parties. Mr. Bliss died as a result of an oversized load that was the responsibility of the drivers to oversee. Yes it was careless of Mr. Bliss to be walking on the side of the road. But, Mr. Peroulis should take responsibility for Mr. Bliss death, he caused it. Is this another case of who you? I question the validity in such a small community to have a jury trial of you peers or a jury trial of your friends.


Tammy Showalter 5 years, 3 months ago

I would not want to be this person, if he has any conscience he carries this with him always. Not guilty? He hasn't met his maker who is the only judge.


dogfan 5 years, 3 months ago

I am sure he will carry this with him, but it was an accident. From the pictures that were in the paper of the scene. Why wasn't he walking on the frontage road instead of the highway? It was an unfortunate accident and he was found not guilty.


David Moore 5 years, 3 months ago

I am on the fence about this whole thing. Both parties could have held a little more responsibility, the trucker and the pilot car(if there even was one) needed to be in better, more efficient contact...why did the pilot car not see this man and warn the driver of the pedestrian? If no pilot car, then the driver is on his own and needs to be more alert, especially in the populated areas and on this piece of road in particular. The pedestrian could have had a little more common sense and walked further to the edge, even jumping out of the way, of the oncoming wide load. I do not fully know the circumstances surrounding this incident but I do know this, two people and their families have been tragically affected by this accident, they deserve the respect and compassion of the entire community instead of the usual finger pointing and accusatory remarks. Someone died here folks, just be glad it wasn't you or a loved one. dogfan, The frontage road only extends so far which puts the pedestrian following it in knee deep, or deeper, snow and muck to re- connect with the highway. After reviewing photos of the accident scene, the highway was this pedestrians only option in commuting to his destination. In previous threads we all discussed connecting the end of the frontage road with the highway, even possibly widening that section and/or cutting down the hillside below the Black Nugget to facilitate safe passage...none of which have been done to date. Unfortunately, even death has not resulted in any positive action in this case and it will only be a matter of time before it happens again. Just my opinion.


dogfan 5 years, 3 months ago

Mr Moore, I think you need to look at the picture a little closer, then drive out there and look. The picture was taken from the frontage road just a little bit west of Tri State Equip. This was not his only option.


David Moore 5 years, 3 months ago

I have seen the pictures, and I know the area very well. I am not trying to say you are wrong by any means and no disrespect is intended. From what I understand of the incident, this accident happened on the highway just east of the first entrance to Ridgeview. This would be the first right-hand turn after cresting the hill into this area. If I am right, then this pedestrian had no other option than to use the highway. If the accident occured west of this first right hand turn, then all are right, why was he not using the frontage road. I am basing my thoughts on the pictures from the press and articles that have gone with them. There is no easy, useable access to the highway from the end of that frontage road, that is my point and arguement.


David Moore 5 years, 3 months ago

Here is a link to the photo which was published the next day and it appears to have been taken from the Black Nugget hillside. It appears to me that the scene is isolated to the area before the first right hand turn into Ridgeview, that speed limit sign is located just before the first turn. If I am wrong, then I am wrong and I admit it, however this is all I have to go on.


Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.