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Man killed in fiery crash identified

By Ann Butler and Jordyn Dahl
Herald Staff Writers

The man killed early Tuesday evening after his vehicle rolled and caught fire has been identified as Jeremy Rivas.

The 24-year-old Durango resident was driving a blue 1996 Cadillac Eldorado on County Road 318 at mile marker 7 when the accident occurred at about 7:25 p.m.

The Southern Ute and Ignacio police departments pursued Rivas after he almost backed into another vehicle in Ignacio. The officer terminated the pursuit at milepost 13 and lost sight of the vehicle when it was about two miles ahead of their vehicles, according to a Colorado State Patrol report.

When officers caught up with the vehicle, it had run off the road and was burning with Rivas trapped inside, attempting to get out of the car. He was overcome by the fire and pronounced dead at the scene.

It appears the gas tank ruptured when the vehicle went off the road, but the ignition source has not been determined, the report said.

Alcohol or drugs and excessive speed are suspected in the accident.

The Colorado State Patrol will investigate, said Trooper Nate Reid, a spokesman with the Colorado State Patrol, but the Southern Police Department probably will investigate the details of the possible pursuit.

Rivas was involved in a brawl at Folsom Park in March that was organized on Facebook. Rivas and six other people fled the scene and led Durango police on a chase that ended when spike strips were deployed to flatten the tires of the vehicle.

jdahl@durangoherald.com

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