by Eric Mullens
WALSENBURG — A Grand Junction, Colorado man could face charges as a result of a fatal traffic accident that claimed the life of a Gardner resident.
The Colorado State Patrol was dispatched to a location about one mile south of Gardner on CO Hwy. 69 after 2 pm Sunday, April 1, in response to a two-vehicle traffic accident.
The report says a 2001 Dodge Ram pickup, pulling a Fleetwood camping trailer, was northbound on the highway behind a 1992 Toyota pickup. The Toyota, driven by Randall Dressler, 60, of Gardner, slowed to make a left hand turn into a private driveway when the driver of the Dodge attempted to pass the smaller pickup in the southbound lane. The Dodge, driven by Richard Garrett, 62, collided with the Toyota on its left side.
After impact, the Dodge continued northbound and went off the left side of the roadway coming to rest on its wheels facing west.
The Toyota spun counter-clockwise and went off the left hand side of the highway and rolled one half time, coming to rest on its roof facing east.
Dressler was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash but he sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene by the Huerfano County Coroner. Garrett was also wearing a seatbelt and was uninjured. He was transported to a motel in Walsenburg following the initial investigation.
Drug or alcohol use is not considered a factor in the accident.
CSP Trooper Art Gumke said charges against Garrett are pending and the investigation is ongoing.
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