Cortez man ID’d after fatal accident

The second driver in Tuesday’s fatal head-on car crash in the Animas Valley has been identified.

Cortez resident Rodney C. Platts, 48, was driving a 2006 white Jeep Commander south on U.S. Highway 550 when he crossed the center line into oncoming traffic, hitting a 2006 gray Dodge Charger head-on, according to Capt. Adrian Driscoll with the Colorado State Patrol. The Charger’s driver, Durango resident Julie Ann Crow, 44, also was killed.

The accident took place shortly after 3 p.m. just north of the Alpen Rose RV Park near milepost 27.

Investigators were looking into the possibility that drugs or alcohol played a role, Driscoll said. Excessive speed does not appear to be a factor.

The accident closed the highway Tuesday afternoon for more than two hours.

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