Drugs, alcohol, cell phone use not a factor in fatal Tovar crash

Distracted driving likely was cause of crash

Janelle O'Dea
Torivio Tovar, 17, was killed in a crash on U.S. Highway 40 on Dec. 19. In a report released by Colorado State Patrol Trooper Aaron Hall, alcohol, drugs, speed, roadway and weather conditions, cell phone calling/texting and wildlife were all ruled out as causal factors of the crash.
Courtesy Photo

— It’s been only two short months since Moffat County High School lost one of its beloved students, Tory Tovar.

Through the grieving, many have wondered what happened the day he lost life in a car accident.

Colorado State Patrol determined last week that the cause of the fatal crash on U.S. Highway 40 in December did not involve any substance abuse or cell phone usage.

“After considering all facts, evidence and circumstances… alcohol, drugs, speed, roadway and weather conditions, cell phone calling/texting, and wildlife have all been ruled out as causal factors for this crash,” according to the state trooper report.

Colorado State Patrol Trooper Aaron Hall was in charge of the investigation of the crash. He received Tovar’s cell phone report on Feb. 19 and notified his family before releasing the information publicly.

Tovar, 17, was killed when his 1997 blue Ford F250 collided with a semi truck about three miles west of Craig on Highway 40 at around 3 p.m. on Dec. 19.

Tovar was traveling westbound when his pickup crossed the centerline and collided with an eastbound 2001 Peterbilt truck hauling water toward Craig. Jeffrey Higgs was driving the semi truck and suffered minor injuries.

The driver’s side of Tovar’s truck was demolished in the crash.

“Distracted driving is the likely cause for the crash; however, the form of distraction may never be known,” the report said.

Haley Bellin-VanGrandt and Tovar welcomed a son, Caemden Jace, on Oct. 9.

Tovar was a senior at Moffat County High School. Friends and family gathered at the high school for a candlelight vigil on Dec. 21 to celebrate his life and what he meant to the community.

He was raised primarily in Craig by his grandparents, Paul and Reta Hall.

“He was very loved, and he was just such a good boy,” Reta Hall told the Craig Daily Press in December.

Contact Janelle O’Dea at 970-875-1795 or or follow her on Twitter @jayohday.

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