The Garfield County Coroner’s office has identified a man who died last Thursday of what appears to be an overdose as 30-year-old Carbondale local Jonathan Ellington. Coroner Robert Glassmire says although there was drug paraphernalia around the house where Ellington died and other evidence of illegal drug use, the actual toxicologiy report may not be back for 3 to 6 weeks. Carbondale Police answered another potential overdose call at another local home that same night, but in the 2nd one the victim survived. They’re speculating that that man and Ellington might’ve taken the same drug, possibly the painkiller oxycodone. While awaiting answers, Police are urging you never to take anyone else’s prescription medicine, and don’t take a pill if you aren’t sure what it is.
Late last Thursday night, in the early moments of Friday morning, a single-SUV rollover north of Rifle killed 2 men. The man who was driving, Cody Christopher, suffered only minor injuries. He’s in the Garfield County Jail on $50,000 bond. Christopher is charged with vehicular homicide, drunk driving, and other crimes. His friends Trent Johnson and Matthew Smith were killed in the wreck, Johnson’s 10-year-old son Rylan seriously injured. Rylan was taken to a Denver hospital after the accident, but the Post-Independent is expected to be released soon if he hasn’t been already. Johnson’s older child, his daughter Baylee, is a star volleyball player for Glenwood Springs High. The 3 men and Johnson’s son were said to be on the way to do some holiday hunting when the wreck happened on a private road, near County Road 219. State troopers say no one in the SUV had their seat belts on at the time of the crash. There apparently was a lot of beer being consumed by the adults including Christopher. Troopers say there was a strong odor of alcohol at the scene with numerous open and unopened beer cans scattered around. Along with displaying obvious signs of drunkenness, they say Christopher admitted to drinking at least 2 of those beers himself. Losing 2 of its members, the Johnson family is said to be in serious financial need. A GoFundMe account has been set up for them, that you can reach through the Glenwood High volleyball team’s Facebook page. As of early Tuesday, it had raised more than $3000.
We told you Tuesday about an Aspen man being charged with crimes for spraying a neighbor and the neighbor’s home with bear spray in an ongoing feud. There was another release of the foul-smelling spray recently, but this one appears to be an accident. RFTA says on one of its buses recently heading for the Maroon Bells, a college student made the mistake of leaning the wrong way on her backpack, bear spray she was carrying started spraying out. Then due to the altitude change, the spray can exploded. The 40 or so passengers were annoyed but got off the bus safely through emergency exits. The bus was left where it stopped to air out for a while… and the driver was treated at the hospital for inhalation of the spray, then released.
That pre-Christmas snowfall was nice for our area, but not nearly enough, and a lot of it’s gone already. Unfortunately there was too little snow remaining at Buttermilk for Skico to stage last night’s planned Full Moon Dinner at the Cliffhouse restaurant. The company says with current conditions, it was just too difficult to get the needed supplies up and down the mountain. With the X Games on tap this month, lots of folks in the valley are hoping, praying, dancing for more snow. And the Cliffhouse will try to put on its dinner with the next full moon, that’s expected to appear the night of the 31st.
Some happy holiday news this week… the first baby born this year at Glenwood’s Valley View Hospital was little Romina Vizcaino, who arrived at 7:08 New Year’s morning. Her mom Arianna and dad Christian had a couple siblings at home for Romina… 11-year-old Rogelio and 9-year-old Cami. Romina’s a good strong size but not huge, born at 7 pounds 11 ounces. Congrats to her for being first, and of course to the Vizcaino family.