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Car accident claims life on Cement Creek Road last Friday

Still under investigation

by Mark Reaman

A 23-year-old Crested Butte man who recently moved to the valley from Texas was killed in a car accident up Cement Creek Road early Friday morning, August 4.

Colorado State Patrol trooper Nate Reid said the accident took place about 2:30 a.m. Friday, approximately one mile west of Highway 135. The original call to dispatch came in about 3 a.m. but emergency crews were unable to locate the vehicle due to insufficient information on the crash location. The patrol was then alerted of the accident at 7:52 Friday morning by a pedestrian walking his dog.

The driver of the vehicle, Mason Hackett, was killed at the scene. Two passengers, 30-year-old John Brits of Gunnison and 26-year old Maury Galaher of Pueblo, were in the vehicle at the time but escaped with minor injuries.

The CSP report states that a silver 2003 Jeep Grand Cherokee heading west went off the road and down a steep embankment on the left side of the road, rolling several times. It ended up about 95 feet below Cement Creek Road. Hackett was ejected from the Jeep while it was rolling and pinned beneath the vehicle. No one in the vehicle was wearing a seatbelt.

The accident is still under investigation. The patrol said both passengers were cited for failure to notify authorities when the driver is unable to give notice. The coroner is testing for drugs and alcohol that Reid said are suspected to have been used.

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