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Three-car accident on Highway 135 claims life

Long-time ranching family loses one of its own

by Alissa Johnson

A three-car accident on Highway 135 on Thursday, May 14 claimed the life of longtime Crested Butte resident Richard Rozman, 71. According to a police report from the Colorado State Patrol, Rozman was headed north on Highway 135 when his pickup truck drifted into the southbound lane near mile-point 21.3 (just north of Cement Creek Road).

“A tandem-axle dump truck was southbound on Colorado 135 in the same area,” according to the report. Rozman’s pickup “struck the left side of Vehicle 2 [the dump truck] with its front left corner.” The impact caused the pickup to spin and rotate counter-clockwise across the northbound lane until it came to rest in the ditch on the side on the northbound lane.

The dump truck also spun out of control, rotating counter-clockwise and turning onto its right side before coming to rest on the southbound shoulder. The driver of an SUV traveling northbound behind Rozman’s truck swerved to the right to avoid both vehicles and sustained minor damage.

Rozman was flown to St. Mary’s Medical Center, where he passed away on May 16. According to the report, the driver of the dump truck, Ted Hart of Gunnison, 65, sustained moderate injuries and was taken to Gunnison Valley Hospital by ambulance. Hannah York, 18, of Mt. Crested Butte, driver of the SUV, sustained no injuries.

The report stated, “Distracted driving, fatigue, or a medical condition are suspected as the contributing factors.”

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