Crash claims one life east of Pagosa Springs


The Colorado State Patrol is investigating a one-vehicle crash on U.S. 160 east of Pagosa Springs which resulted in one fatality and serious injury to multiple juveniles.

At approximately 1:15 a.m. on Dec. 16, a blue 2016 Ford F-150 was westbound toward Pagosa Springs on U.S. 160 at milepost 154. The Ford F-150 drove off the right side of the road, striking a tree, before rotating into a fence. The vehicle did not roll.

In the front right seat, Holly Buffington-Yake, 33, of Cortez, Colo., was un-seatbelted. She was ejected and was pronounced dead on scene. Males age 9 and 10, and a female age 12 sustained serious injury. Females age 6 and 13, also un-seatbelted, escaped with minor injuries. Only the 9-year-old male was seatbelted. The driver, Richard T. Yake, 33, of Cortez, sustained no injuries.

Drugs, alcohol and excessive speed are not considered factors in this crash, which is still under investigation.

The Colorado State Patrol would like to extend our deepest condolences to those affected by this tragedy. We ask that you always, always buckle up. Seatbelts are engineered to protect you and those you hold dear, but they must be properly worn.

Multiple agencies in Archuleta County responded to and assisted with this incident.