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Man dies driving off Red Mountain Pass

Authorities say 22-year-old driver failed to negotiate turn

A 22-year-old Grand Junction man died Saturday night after driving off U.S. Highway 550 on Red Mountain Pass.

Colorado State Patrol Trooper Josh Lewis said the vehicle, a 2003 Dodge pickup, was headed north on Highway 550 around 11 p.m. Saturday when the driver failed to negotiate a turn near mile post 81 and went off the right side of the road.

Mile marker 81 is near the top of Red Mountain Pass, just before the highway starts a series of switchbacks to the north. Lewis said the vehicle went down an embankment and rolled.

The driver, identified as Alberto Martinez, was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the vehicle, Lewis said. Martinez, the only occupant of the vehicle, was pronounced dead on scene.

Lewis said drugs and alcohol are not considered factors in the crash. Excessive speed, however, is considered a factor.


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