2 construction workers hit, killed in Broadway construction zone under C-470; runaway SUV blamed

CDOT: Concrete Works of Colorado was contractor

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. - Two contract workers were hit and killed by a runaway sport utility vehicle in a construction area on Broadway near C-470,  according to the Colorado State Patrol.

A blue Subaru Tribeca, driven by Thomas Garrity, 74, of Bellevue, Nebraska was westbound on C-470 and exiting onto Broadway when it lost control for an unknown reason, said State Patrol spokesman Trooper Nate Reid.  He said the SUV slid off the left side of the ramp, went into a grassy area on the left side of the ramp and hit a utility box before striking the two workers.

The Subaru came to a stop after hitting a northbound white Honda Pilot. The two construction workers were thrown into the road.

Reid said the two victims were contract workers for a concrete company working in that area on a county road widening project. They were identified as Joseph Schwartz, 47, of Morrison and Jesus Villalobos, 27, of Brighton. Both died at the scene.

"Jesus was a very good guy," said his neighbor Samantha Vongsady.  "He was a very very kind gentleman.  He always helped me with yard work and I'm very sorry for his wife and young son.  I just want her to know that we're here for her if she needs any help."

Colorado Department of Transportation spokeswoman Stacey Stegman said the contractor was Concrete Works of Colorado and the group was working on a project for Douglas County.

"It's obviously really tragic. We're a close-knit company," said Dick Brasher, vice president of Concrete Works of Colorado.  "It's tough.  These guys were really good guys."

Brasher said one of the men was a 10-year employee and the other had worked for the company for eight years. They were standing in the grassy area, using paint to mark locations for the street widening project the company was starting.

Garrity's son, Mark Garrity, said his mother and father had just flown into Denver for the Thanksgiving holiday.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the families who lost loved ones today," said Mark Garrity.  "Obviously my folks are really shaken up and really distraught."

Mark Garrity's 72-year-old mother was a passenger in the Subaru at the time of the crash.  He said his parents were treated at Littleton Adventist Hospital.

Schwartz's Facebook page shows the McKeesport, Pa., native was an outdoorsman. Photos capture him on a sailboat, on a salmon fishing trip and standing by a waterfall cascading down a rock face.

The driver of the Honda was Laura Mooney, 39, of Highlands Ranch. She was not injured.

As family members of the victims arrived at the scene, they were comforted by the victims' fellow workers.

The 11:55 a.m. crash shut down that intersection for most of the afternoon.


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