Victim of fatal crash identified

15-year-old high school student died at crash scene; driver hospitalized

Authorities on Tuesday identified the 16-year-old boy who was killed Saturday in a single-car rollover near Lemon Reservoir as Andrew Rodriguez, a student at Durango High School.

An announcement of Rodriguez’s death was made Tuesday at the high school, said Marty Kay Hutton, spokeswoman for Durango School District 9-R. A moment of silence was observed in his honor, and counselors were on hand to talk with students, she said.

The crash occurred shortly before 8 p.m. Saturday on Forest Service Road 596, near the north end of Lemon Reservoir.

Jacob Bridges, 15, of Durango, was driving a 1992 Ford Explorer southbound when he lost control, went off the right side of the road and rolled the vehicle at least once down a steep embankment, said Trooper Jonathan Silver, with the Colorado State Patrol.

The boy was driving about 30 to 35 mph on the dirt road, which has a speed limit of 20 mph, Silver said.

Both boys were ejected from the vehicle; neither wore a seat belt.

Rodriguez died at the scene, Silver said.

The driver was taken to Mercy Regional Medical Center, where he was listed Tuesday in fair condition, said David Bruzzese, spokesman for the hospital.

Neither boy had a driver’s license or a permit, Silver said.

The driver was cited with driving without a valid driver’s license and careless driving causing death.

Drugs and alcohol are not suspected factors.

“It’s just really unfortunate to see a couple of young lives so permanently affected,” Silver said. “There’s a reason why young drivers are at risk, and we require driver’s licenses.”

shane@durangoherald.com

This article has been corrected since its original publication.

Comments » Read and share your thoughts on this story