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Driver who struck two pedestrians on 32nd Street identified, charged

Police say Luke Prince, 28, failed to see people in crosswalk
Two pedestrians hit by a vehicle last week on 32nd Street near East Second Avenue appear to have non-life-threatening injuries.

A 28-year-old Durango driver suspected of hitting two pedestrians crossing 32nd Street last week has been identified and charged.

Durango Police Department Cmdr. Ray Shupe said the man, identified as Luke Prince, was charged on suspicion of careless driving causing serious bodily injury as well as failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

Authorities say around 4:30 p.m. Nov. 12, Prince was driving a Ford Explorer south on East Second Avenue when he stopped at the four-way intersection with 32nd Street, wanting to make a left turn to head east on 32nd Street.

While Prince was stopped at the intersection, another car headed west on 32nd Street toward Main Avenue stopped just before the intersection at East Second Avenue and flashed the car’s headlights.

Traffic on 32nd Street has the right of way and no stop sign.

Prince, authorities say, took the flashing lights as a signal the car was letting him make the left turn and pulled out into the intersection, striking two pedestrians in the crosswalk.

Investigators believe the car flashed its lights to signal to the pedestrians to cross.

The two pedestrians have been identified as Mark Barton, 64, and Isabel Barton, 33, both of Tucson, Arizona.

Mark Barton suffered serious injuries and required transport to Grand Junction for further care. A St. Mary’s Hospital spokeswoman said Wednesday afternoon he is in good condition.

Isabel Barton was taken to Mercy Regional Medical Center with serious injuries. A Mercy spokeswoman said Wednesday afternoon she is in fair condition.

Durango police had been waiting to charge Prince until the seriousness of the pedestrians’ injuries was better understood.

“We don’t believe their injuries are life-threatening at this point,” Shupe said.

Drugs, alcohol and distracted driving are not suspected in the crash.


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