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Cortez man dies in motorcycle crash on Colorado Highway 184

Passerby and sheriff perform CPR; speed, alcohol and previous concussion might have been factors in crash

A motorcyclist from Cortez was killed in a crash March 25 on Colorado Highway 184 south of Dolores.

Billy D. Ferguson, 68, died from his injuries suffered in the crash at mile marker 11, said Colorado State Patrol Trooper Josh Lewis. Emergency responders were called to the scene at 3:50 p.m.

According to the initial State Patrol report, Ferguson was eastbound on a 2013 Victory when he crossed into the left lane on a right-hand bend and went off the left side of the road. He crashed down a steep embankment, rolled and was ejected from the motorcycle. He was not wearing a helmet.

Montezuma County Sheriff Steve Nowlin said when he arrived, another motorcyclist who had been traveling behind Ferguson was performing CPR.

Nowlin and Deputy Jacob Gilberto attempted to revive Ferguson with an automated external defibrillator.

Ferguson was transported by Southwest Health System ambulance to Southwest Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

According to the State Patrol report, alcohol use and excessive speed were being considered as possible contributing factors in the crash, Lewis said. The speed limit on that stretch of road is 55 mph, and road conditions were dry.

The westbound lane of the highway was temporarily closed because of the crash investigation, and alternating traffic was allowed through.

Cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head, said Montezuma County George Deavers. The results of a toxicology tests are pending.

Deavers said Ferguson had hit his head a few days before at home when he tripped and fell into the fireplace while carrying wood. A subdural hematoma indicative of the previous fall was found in addition to the fatal head injury.

A possible lingering concussion from the earlier head injury might have contributed to a blackout and loss of control of the motorcycle, Deavers said. He noted there were no skid marks where Ferguson left the road.

The Montezuma County Sheriff, Dolores Volunteer Fire Department, Colorado State Patrol and Southwest Health System ambulance responded to the crash.