One dead, one injured in Turkey Springs crash


Staff Writer

A one-vehicle accident on Turkey Springs Road, near the intersection with Newt Jack Road claimed the life of one Pagosa Springs man and seriously injured another on Friday, June 14.

The driver, Ian M. Martinez, 34, of Pagosa Springs, was seriously injured and was taken to San Juan Regional Medical Center in Farmington, N.M.

The passenger, Leroy G. “Spud” Heaton, 70, also of Pagosa Springs, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The accident took place shortly before 10:30 a.m.

According to the accident blotter from the Colorado State Patrol, the vehicle, a 2002 Chevy Silverado, was traveling eastbound on the road (Forest Service Road 629) on a downgrade approaching a left curve when it skidded in the roadway for 60 feet, and for another 18 feet on the shoulder.

The vehicle then ran off the right side of the road at the left curve, and traveled down an embankment for 64 feet before crashing into a tree with the right front of the vehicle.

After a slight rotation, the vehicle came to rest on its wheels approximately 37 feet from the edge of the road.

Excessive speed is suspected as a cause for the accident.

The blotter states that Heaton was not wearing a seatbelt, and it is unknown if Martinez was using a seatbelt or not.

No condition report was available for Martinez on Wednesday, with San Juan Regional Medical Center staff stating that Martinez had been treated and transferred to another facility, but that they were unable to give out further information.

Another accident near Bayfield the afternoon of June 16 killed an Ohio woman, and left several others with minor to moderate injuries, including two Pagosa Springs men.

According to the CSP blotter for the incident, a 1998 Ford F250 driven by Charles D. Salazar, of Pagosa Springs, was eastbound on U.S. 160 near Bayfield on Sunday when Salazar allegedly fell asleep at the wheel and the pickup crossed into the westbound lane.

Ronald G. Back, of Mason, Ohio, the driver of a second car, a 2013 Dodge Avenger, skidded and veered left in an attempt to avoid a head-on collision, but his vehicle was struck on the right front side by the pickup.

After impact, the Avenger rotated clockwise and was pushed backward, coming to rest on its wheels facing north with the right of the vehicle torn open and the passenger, Mary C. Back, ejected from the vehicle.

After impact, the pickup continued eastbound, rotating clockwise and rolling one-half turn, coming to rest on its top, facing north.

A third car, a 2007 Nissan Titan, then struck debris in the westbound lane, coming to rest on its wheels.

Mary Back was pronounced dead at the scene. Ronald Back was reported to have moderate injuries.

Salazar and his passenger, also from Pagosa Springs, were reported to have minor injuries.

The driver and passenger of the Titan were reported to have minor injuries.

The injured parties were transported or drove to Mercy Regional Medical Center.

All people involved the accident were reportedly wearing seatbelts.