Saturday morning crash claims three people west of Craig

At a glance …

• Colorado State Patrol troopers responded to a two-vehicle crash at 2:30 a.m. Saturday on U.S. Highway 40 near milepost 65, about 25 miles west of Craig.

• An Audi A4 traveling west reportedly veered into the eastbound lane and collided with a Freightliner tractor-trailer.

• The Freightliner spilled diesel fuel and caught fire. The driver was able to escape with moderate injuries.

• The driver of the Audi A4 and his two passengers were pronounced dead at the scene.

• There are no pending citations resulting from the accident.

Colorado State Patrol troopers responded early Saturday morning to a two-vehicle crash that claimed the lives of one motorist and two passengers.

The crash occurred at 2:30 a.m. on U.S. Highway 40 near milepost 65, about 25 miles west of Craig, the state patrol reported.

An Audi A4 driven by 35-year-old Raul Torres-Rodriguez, of Fort Collins, was traveling west on Highway 40 when the vehicle reportedly veered into the eastbound lane and collided head-on with a Freightliner tractor-trailer driven by Rickie Jenkins, 53, of Casper, Wyo., according to a CSP news release.

Trooper Joshua Lewis, public information officer with CSP in Denver, said the vehicles “bounced” off of each other after impact.

The Audi came to rest on its wheels on the south shoulder facing east.

The truck spilled diesel fuel onto the highway and caught fire before coming to a stop on the north shoulder also facing east.

The Audi did not catch fire, according to reports.

Torres-Rodriguez along with his two passengers — 22-year-old Christopher Karschner of Rangely and 19-year-old Luis Terrones-Ortega of Greeley — were pronounced dead at the scene, law enforcement officials said.

The driver and front passenger were reportedly wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash.

The Greeley man, who was seated in the backseat, was not.

According to Kirk McKey, Moffat County Coroner, all three people in the Audi died from blunt force trauma.

Jenkins was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash and was able to escape from the truck’s cab before it was engulfed in flames, the release states.

He was treated for moderate injuries at The Memorial Hospital in Craig and later released. Highway 40 was closed from 3 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday for cleanup and investigation.

The CSP Hazardous Materials Unit, the Colorado Department of Transportation, LT Environmental, an ambulance crew from TMH and Craig Fire/Rescue firefighters also responded to the scene.

There are no pending citations resulting from the accident, according Colorado State Police officials.

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