RIFLE, Colo. (KDVR) — Three people died and four others were injured near Rifle Friday morning after their SUV slammed into a bear on Interstate 70.
According to the Colorado State Patrol, the 2007 Chevy SUV was traveling westbound at 4:45 a.m. when it hit the bear, went into the median and rolled into the eastbound lanes.
The SUV didn’t hit any other vehicles. There were seven people in the vehicle – two men, two women, a teen girl, and two children.
All of the victims were ejected from the car at the time of the crash and none were believed to have been wearing a seat belt.
Kimberly Hernandez, 7 and Eugenio Hernandez Altamirano, 63, died at the scene. Brizeyda Hernandez, 15, was taken to Grand River Hospital in Rifle around 9:25 a.m. She was later flown to Children’s Hospital, where she died.
A 9-year-old boy from New Castle was flown to Children’s with life-threatening injuries. A 62-year-old woman from Carbondale was taken to Valley View Hospital with life-threatening injuries. The 36-year-old driver from New Castle was also taken to Valley View Hospital with serious injuries. A 32-year-old woman was also transported, but the severity of her injuries is not yet known.
The bear died in the crash.
Currently drugs, alcohol, and speed are not considered factors in the crash, and charges have not been filed. The case remains under investigation.