Details still under investigation
By Alissa Johnson
An accident at the intersection of Highway 135 and Cement Creek Road (County Road 740) claimed the lives of two Colorado Springs residents last Saturday evening, September 5. A 1987 Yamaha Venture motorcycle with two passengers was traveling northbound on 135 when it struck a 2001 Chevy Tahoe crossing the northbound lane.
According to county coroner Frank Vader, Colorado Springs couple Jason and Gina Swanson (aged 40 and 44, respectively) died on the scene from multiple traumatic injuries.
Nate Reid, public information officer for the Colorado State Patrol, confirmed that the driver of the Tahoe, 28-year-old Michelle Parenti of Gunnison, sustained minor injuries. She was driving southbound on Highway 135 when the accident occurred.
“The SUV moved into the left turn lane to turn onto County Road 740, entered the intersection and was struck by the motorcycle,” Reid said. High speeds, drugs and alcohol are not suspected in the crash.
“She just turned in front of the motorcycle. We don’t know why,” Reid said. The details of the accident will be investigated, and while charges had not yet been filed as of Tuesday, September 8, Reid said he suspected that charges were pending.
According to information provided to the News by EMS coordinator Mike Scott, the male rider collided with the Tahoe and had to be extricated from the SUV. The female motorcycle rider was thrown 20 to 25 feet; a helmet and hair tie were found nearby.
Reid confirmed that according to the Colorado State Patrol investigator, helmets were not believed to be worn by either party but that will be confirmed prior to the final report. The time of the crash was 8:24 p.m.