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2 killed in E. Animas Road rollover

SHAUN STANLEY/Durango Herald

Members of Durango Fire & Rescue Authority inspect the scene of a rollover accident Wednesday in the 4200 block of East Animas Road (County Road 250). The crash killed Louise Suazo, 47, of Durango, and Cole Behr, 22, of Hesperus.

By Shane Benjamin Herald staff writer

A man and a woman died Wednesday in a single-car rollover on East Animas Road (County Road 250) about four miles north of Durango.

The victims were identified as Louise Suazo, 47, of Durango, and Cole Behr, 22, of Hesperus.

The crash was reported about 12:45 p.m. by a U.S. Forest Service employee who was driving by the scene about two miles south of Trimble Lane and saw the vehicle upside down in an irrigation ditch filled with running water.

Two bystanders helped remove the victims from the vehicle, but they were pronounced dead at the scene, said Trooper Jonathan Silver, with the Colorado State Patrol.

Both were wearing seat belts. Drugs and alcohol do not appear to be factors, he said.

It does not appear the impact was enough to cause death, but a coroner will determine the official cause of death, Silver said.

“The water in the ditch was pretty deep, so the passenger compartment was definitely submerged where the occupants would have been,” he said.

One person at the scene said the vehicle’s engine seemed cold, suggesting the truck had been submerged for a while.

Family members told authorities that Suazo and Behr left Hesperus about 10:30 a.m., leading investigators to believe the crash occurred about 11 a.m., Silver said.

Suazo was driving the black 2006 Toyota Tundra northbound on East Animas Road when she lost control, went off the right side of the road, overcorrected and went off the left side of the road, Silver said. The vehicle rolled onto its top and came to rest about 12 feet down an embankment in the irrigation ditch.

Investigators are unsure what caused Suazo to lose control. Speed does not appear to have been a factor, Silver said.

“The road is good, the surface is dry,” Silver said.

The section of road was closed from about 12:45 to 3 p.m. Wednesday while investigators documented the scene and worked to remove the vehicle from the irrigation ditch.


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