Date: Thursday, May 15 @ 12:50:52 PDT
Colorado State Patrol
investigator Bob Nuse, right, talks with trooper Travis Hood about the fatal accident at Weld County Road 74 and Colo. 257. The Honda Pacifica motorcycle was
southbound on Colo. 257 Wednesday morning when the
northbound Toyota Camry’s driver turned in front of the
motorcycle, according to the state patrol. The motorcyclist, Michael James Burry, died at the scene north of
Photo by Jay Quadracci
The deadliest Wednesday in recent memory began with a fatal accident north of Windsor early in the morning, another fatal accident at noon, and then one at the end of the day.
Michael James Burry died Wednesday morning at the intersection of Colo. 257 and Weld County Road 74.
After the Burry fatal accident, a 29-year-old woman died near Mead, close to the intersection of Colo. 66
and Weld 7. And about 4 p.m. Wednesday, Roger Burcher was killed in a four-vehicle crash at Colo. 392 and Weld 33.
The three fatalities raised the Weld County roads’ death toll tentatively to 22, compared to 16 on this date last year.
The deadly Wednesday was just a cap to a hectic few days, Colorado State Trooper Russ Zeller said. “It’s really been since Saturday. Weld County, Larimer County ... What can you attribute it to, the nice weather? We don’t know.”
Two weather-related serious collisions hampered traffic on I-25 Saturday, a Greeley man was killed in a crash Sunday, and two Berthoud teens died in an alcohol-related crash Monday.
“But three separate traffic fatalities in one day is very uncommon,” Zeller said.
By the end of the day Wednesday, another accident at the same location where Burry died sent two people to the hospital.
Early Wednesday afternoon, a Windsor woman suffered serious injuries when her car collided with another at U.S. 85 and Colo. 392, north of Greeley.
But the deadly day began near Windsor.
n Burry, 51, died at 6:25 a.m. Wednesday when his motorcycle slammed into a Shamrock Cab. The driver of the cab,
Wymond L. Essman of Fort Collins, had stopped at the busy intersection a mile north of Windsor, and started to turn left, across the southbound lane of traffic.
“I didn’t see him until he hit me,” Essman said shortly after the accident. “Another car crossed in front of me, and he caught my eye for a second, then when I looked back up, the motorcycle was already there.”
Shamrock Cab has offices in Windsor and Fort Collins, and Essman was driving to Fort Collins to start his shift Wednesday morning when the accident occurred.
Burry was riding the Honda Pacifica south on the highway, and had just passed a large refuge truck. Essman said the motorcyclist was traveling about 70 mph, but State Patrol investigator Bob Nuss said it was closer to 60 or 65 — the speed limit in that area.
Because the accident happened during the morning rush hour, the much-used intersection was lined up with traffic in all four directions. People were on their way to work in Fort Collins, Windsor or the Greeley area, and were delayed by long lines of cars and trucks.
Windsor firefighters, first at the scene, found Burry dead about 50 feet from the motorcycle that was twisted under the yellow cab. Essman was wearing a seat belt and was not injured, but for safety, was checked in a Windsor ambulance.
The taxi’s windshield was smashed in, likely from Burry’s helmet and shoulder, after he was thrown from his motorcycle. Battered and gashed, the helmet was found a few feet from Burry’s body.
n Burcher of Windsor died in a four-vehicle accident Wednesday evening when his truck rolled after being struck by a pickup truck on Colo. 392 near Weld 33.
Burcher, 65, at first ap-peared to be all right after the accident, and was even talking on his cell phone before he collapsed. He was pronounced dead later at North Colorado Medical Center in Greeley.
Burcher was traveling west in a GMC king cab about 4 p.m. and was hit by a Ford F150 traveling east that was turning left into a private residence.
Jeffry Glasgow, 54, of Windsor was taken by ambulance to NCMC, where he was treated and released.
Glasgow was going to a home business at 16229 Colo. 392 and apparently almost missed the turn and had to stop quickly, said Trooper Russ Zeller, spokesman for the Colorado State Patrol.
The driver of a Nissan pickup truck behind Glasgow had to slam on his brakes and swerve into a ditch on the right. Behind the Nissan, a semi-truck was forced to slam on its brakes but could not stop in time to avoid the Nissan or Glasgow.
“The semi rear-ends the Nissan and then tags the red Ford,” Zeller said.
Glasgow was forced into oncoming traffic where he hit Burcher’s vehicle.
Abran Mitchell, 23, of Evans was driving the Nissan and watched helplessly in his rear-view mirror as the semi skidded toward the back of his truck.
“The semi slammed me through the ditch and launched us like a rocket,” Mitchell said. “Once the semi hit me, everything just went crazy. I started seeing metal and everything flying through the rear-view mirror.”
The force of the semi pushed the Nissan about 100 yards down the road, but the two passengers in the truck were not harmed.
Joseph Bucciarelli, 28, of Greeley, was one of the passengers in the Nissan.
He walked back to the scene to help and found Burcher walking around and taking on his cell phone.
Then Burcher just dropped, Bucciarelli said.
Bucciarelli and another man started giving Burcher CPR.
His jaw was locked and he appeared to be having a seizure. Zeller said later Burcher may have suffered a heart attack after the accident.
Bucciarelli was able to open an airway for Burcher.
“We brought him back once and he had a pulse and was fine for 10 or 15 seconds,” Bucciarelli said. “Then he faded out again, and we started back up.”
Bucciarelli finally had to walk away because he was starting to go into shock.
An autopsy on Burcher is schedule today. The coroner will make an official ruling whether Burcher’s death will be considered a traffic fatality.
In The Mead accident occurred late Wednesday morning when a truck was pulling a homemade trailer, made from an old pickup bed, and it broke loose. “The trailer rolled free down Colo. 66,” Weld County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Margie Martinez said, “then became airborne and crashed through the windshield of a Saturn coming from the other direction.”
The unidentified driver of the Saturn was severely injured and taken to Longmont United Hospital. The passenger died at the scene. No names of the victims will be released until relatives are notified.
Investigators said everyone in the crash was wearing a seat belt, and they believe no alcohol or drugs were involved.All three crashes are under investigation and charges are pending.