Car crash victim identified as 72-year-old Denver man

— Routt County Coroner Rob Ryg on Friday morning was trying to locate the family of a 72-year-old Denver man killed Thursday night in a car crash in South Routt County.

According to a news release from Colorado State Patrol Trooper Kirk Gardner, the man was a passenger in the 1998 Ford Crown Victoria that rolled near mile marker 28 on Colorado Highway 131. The man was pronounced dead at the scene. He was not wearing a seat belt and had been partially ejected through the windshield.

The driver, 55-year-old Mark Hendrixson, of Brighton, was wearing a seat belt and was injured seriously in the crash. He was taken to Yampa Valley Medical Center and then flown to Denver Health Medical Center.

Gardner said alcohol is being investigated as a contributing factor in the crash.

Ryg said that he had talked with Hendrixson’s wife and that she said the men were fishing in the area, and the 72-year-old was her husband’s friend.

The crash was reported at about 8:20 p.m. and was about six miles south of Toponas.

According to the news release, the men were driving south, and the car went off the right side of the road on a downhill curve going to the left. Hendrixson then abruptly steered the car to the left, and the car went across the road while rotating counterclockwise. The car went off the left side of the road and rolled 1 1/2 times before stopping on its roof.

“The State Patrol would like to remind everyone to buckle up and drive sober,” the release stated.

Assisting at the crash were the Routt and Eagle counties sheriff’s offices, the Colorado Department of Transportation and firefighters from the Yampa Fire Protection District and Rock Creek Volunteer Fire Department.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com

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