2 dead after rollover north of Rifle, driver charged with drunk driving, vehicular homicide
A fatal rollover wreck in the early morning of Dec. 29 on Puma Paw Ranch Road north of Rifle left two people dead, and the driver of the vehicle is in custody on charges including drunken driving and vehicular homicide.
Trent Johnson, 41, the father of standout Glenwood Springs High School volleyball player Baylee Johnson, was killed in the wreck just after midnight on the 29th along with Matthew Smith, 36, of Rifle.
Johnson’s 10-year-old son, Rylan Johnson, was also seriously injured in the crash and flown to Denver for treatment. He was expected to be released today or Wednesday, according to those close to the family.
The driver of the vehicle, Cody Christopher, 40, was also taken to Grand River Hospital in Rifle with minor injuries. Johnson and Smith were both pronounced dead at the scene, Garfield County Coroner Robert Glassmire said.
Meanwhile, Christopher, is currently listed in custody at the Garfield County Jail on charges of vehicular homicide and assault, DUI and other charges stemming from the accident. He was due in court for an advisement hearing Tuesday afternoon.
The Johnsons, along with the two family friends, were headed out on a hunting trip when the crash occurred on the private ranch road located off of Garfield County Road 219, northwest of Rifle Gap Reservoir. Johnson and the other passenger and were ejected from the vehicle.
None of the occupants in the SUV were wearing seat belts, according to the Colorado State Patrol.
Traveling in a 2003 Ford SUV, the vehicle went over an embankment while traveling north on the ranch road and rolled nearly two full turns, ejecting both Johnson and Smith.
Following the loss of Trent, the Johnson family is in need of some help to cover medical expenses. Glenwood Springs head volleyball coach Kehau Rust has created a Go Fund Me page to help support the Johnsons. The goal of the Go Fund Me page is to raise $7,000. Currently, more than $3,100 has poured in via donations since the page was created Monday evening.
To help support the Johnson family, visit the Go Fund Me page, or contact Rust at firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations can also be made to the Go Fund Me account through the Glenwood Springs High School volleyball team’s official Facebook page.