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Woman dies in crash on U.S. 160 south of Cortez

Driver arrested; alcohol is a suspected contributing factor

A two-vehicle crash Monday night on U.S. Highway 160/491 south of Cortez killed a woman passenger, according to the Colorado State Patrol.

The crash occurred about 7:30 p.m. at mile marker 32 and involved a 2017 Hyundai sedan and a 2009 Ford pickup.

According to Trooper Josh Lewis, the Hyundai was northbound when the driver allegedly attempted to take a left turn, entered the southbound lane and collided with a southbound pickup.

The Hyundai passenger, Robin Frost, 32, died at the scene, Lewis said. Her place of residence was not available.

The driver of the Hyundai, Alden P. House, of Towaoc, was taken into custody, Lewis said, and investigators suspect that alcohol is a suspected contributing factor in the crash. House was injured and transported to Southwest Memorial Hospital.

Possible charges against House were not immediately available.

Frost was wearing a seat belt, and House was not, according to the accident report. They were both ejected from the vehicle.

The male driver and two female children in the Ford pickup did not have serious injuries, Lewis said. The driver was wearing a seat belt, and the two children, ages 5 and 2, were secured in car seats, Lewis said.

The highway was closed briefly because of the crash, then reopened with alternating traffic, said Cortez Fire Protection Chief Jay Balfour. Damage to the sedan was severe, he said.

Traffic was backed up nearly a mile in both directions.

Responders included Cortez Fire Protection District, Southwest Health System ambulance, Ute Mountain Fire and Rescue, Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office, Colorado State Patrol and the Montezuma County coroner.