Log In

Reset Password

Update: Ignacio teen killed in crash near Mancos is identified

Matthew Pearson Hall (Courtesy Montezuma County Sheriff's Office)
Driver of Chevy Suburban suspected of vehicular homicide and DUI

A two-vehicle crash Sunday on U.S. Highway 160 east of Mancos killed one person, according to the Colorado State Patrol.

The crash, reported at 12:40 p.m. at mile marker 58, closed the highway for more than three hours.

According to Trooper Gabriel Moltrer, the initial incident report states a westbound black 2018 Chevy Suburban allegedly traveled in the eastbound lane, then partially returned to the westbound lane.

He said as the Suburban partially entered the westbound lane, it collided front to side with an eastbound blue 2007 Ford Fusion that had traveled partially into the westbound lane.

The driver of the Fusion died at the scene from his injuries, and was identified as Davonte James, 18, said Montezuma County Coroner George Deavers. According to the State Patrol report, James was from Ignacio.

An autopsy was performed and the cause of death was blunt force trauma, Deavers said. Results of a toxicology report are pending.

The driver of the Chevy Suburban was identified as Matthew Pearson Hall, 53, of Portola Valley, California, according to Montezuma County Sheriff Steve Nowlin.

Hall, who was booked into the Montezuma County Detention Center, faces preliminary charges of vehicular homicide involving alcohol or drugs or both, driving vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs or both, and careless driving, according to a warrantless affidavit.

Moltrer said James was not wearing a seat belt and Hall was wearing one. Both vehicles carried single occupants.

Hall was examined at Southwest Memorial Hospital before being taken to the Montezuma County Detention Center, and no injuries were reported, Nowlin said.

Mancos Marshal Justen Goodall said his on-duty deputy had responded to a report of a reckless driver traveling west from La Plata County but “arrived to find that the crash had occurred.”

The highway was shut down because of the crash at 12:46 p.m. and reopened at 3:53 p.m., Moltrer said.

Multiple agencies responded to the crash, including the Mancos Marshal’s Office, Colorado State Patrol, Mancos Fire Protection District, Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office and Southwest Health System.

During an advisement hearing Monday, Hall’s bond was set at $10,000 by county Judge JenniLynn Lawrence. Hall may not leave Colorado without consent, is prohibited from driving a vehicle and must submit to sobriety monitoring. He does not have a criminal record, Lawrence said.

Deputy District Attorney Jeremy Reed requested a $50,000 bond. James’ defense attorney, Susan Bandy, requested a personal recognizance bond.

Bandy said Hall is a retired firefighter and is on disability after being injured on the job.

James’ mother, Mary Silas, addressed the court during the hearing and requested the highest bond possible.

Silas said her son was going to graduate high school and had “barely started his life. He had very high expectations about what he wanted to be.”

According to the State Patrol’s April 2 warrantless affidavit, Trooper Edward McLaren-Rose interviewed Hall at Southwest Memorial Hospital about the crash.

McLaren-Rose stated in the affidavit that Hall “had a hard time explaining to me where he was coming from … never asked how the other driver was doing” and admitted to “using cannabis in a pill compound form.” Hall gave voluntary consent to have his blood drawn for a test.

Sgt. Bryan Hill, of the Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office, responded to the hospital at McLaren-Rose’s request to conduct a drug recognition evaluation, and Hall consented to the evaluation, according to the affidavit.

The report states that after the evaluation Hill informed McLaren-Rose that he believed Hall had drugs in his system.

Once Hall was discharged from the hospital he was arrested by McLaren-Rose on suspicion of vehicular homicide, driving under the influence of drugs and careless driving, according to the affidavit.

The case was transferred to 22nd Judicial District Court. Hall is scheduled to formally receive charges against him on April 13 at 2 p.m.