WELD COUNTY, Colo. — On a stretch of Interstate 25 notorious for seeing rear-end crashes, tragedy struck Monday afternoon at mile marker 243.
A semi-truck plowed into three cars on the stretch of highway in Weld County. Five members of the same family were killed, all traveling in the same car.
The coroner's office identified the victims as Emiliano Godines, 51; Christina Godines, 47; Aaron Godinez, 20; Halie Everts, 20 and Tessleigh Godinez, 3 months. Tessleigh was Halie and Aaron's daughter. The family was traveling from Colorado to their home in Gillette, Wyoming.
A friend shared pictures of Halie with 9NEWS, saying “She was the kindest person you could ever meet, the best mommy to the sweetest little girl, and most of all the most caring friend in the world.”
Colorado State Patrol is investigating what happened.
"We’re still in the very early stages of the investigation," Trooper Josh Lewis said Tuesday. "A crash this complicated typically takes weeks, if not months to fully conduct and be filed."
Lewis said no citations have been issued, but if investigators find that a driver violated a law, they will work with the district attorney’s office to bring charges. 9NEWS is choosing to not name the truck driver or the trucking company since no charges have been filed.
"We're taking numerous witness statements, reviewing any video, dashcam footage that anybody may give us as well," Lewis said. "It takes a considerable amount of time, but that’s why we do it, to make sure we know exactly what took place."
While troopers do not believe speed or alcohol were factors in the crash, they are not ruling anything out. That includes distracted driving on a stretch of I-25 where traffic can slow down at a moment’s notice.
9NEWS asked if the truck driver had a valid commercial drivers license, but troopers said they aren’t ready to release that information yet.
As their investigation continues, the Colorado State Patrol is asking the public to go through any dash camera footage that may have captured the crash. Anyone with video that may help the investigation is asked to call Sgt. Winsett at 970-506-4999, or call dispatch at 303-239-4501 and reference case number #3A221000.
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