Fatal collision claims former Hayden police officer

One person was killed and another seriously injured in a head-on collision Friday night that closed both lanes of U.S. Highway 40.

Trooper Nate Reid from the Colorado State Patrol public affairs office said a black 2006 Mercedes Benz driven by Hayden resident Joshua Ward, 20, attempted to pass in a no-passing zone near mile marker 95 on U.S. Highway 40.

Ward’s vehicle struck a blue 1997 Dodge Stratus driven by Hayden resident Carla Steele, 48, Reid said.

“(Steele) was transported to The Memorial Hospital and died at the hospital,” Reid said.

Ward was flown to St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction and was listed in serious condition, Reid said. As of Monday morning, Ward was listed in critical condition at St. Mary's, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

There were no passengers in either vehicle.

Ward is suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, Reid added.

Charges are pending.

Reid said he wasn’t sure how long the highway was closed.

Steele, a former police officer, served between 15 and 20 years with the Hayden Police Department, Officer Ed Corriveau said.

“She was a valued and respected member of this organization,” Corriveau said. “She will be greatly missed.”

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