Alcohol, speed suspected in fatal auto-motorcycle crash involving Adams City High School students

Police: Car fishtailed into oncoming lane

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. - Speed and alcohol are suspected in a fatal crash involving four Adams City High School students and a motorcyclist.

Police say the 16-year old driver lost control while driving southbound on Highway 2 near Locust street at 3 p.m. Friday. The car veered off the highway, the driver over-corrected and the vehicle fishtailed into the northbound lane.

“The motorcycle rider was struck virtually head on by the side of the vehicle and he was thrown back a good distance from where the initial impact occurred,” said Commerce City Police Chief Troy Smith.

The motorcyclist was transported to Denver Health Medical Center with critical injuries. He died at the hospital. Authorities aren’t releasing his name.

The driver of the Dodge Neon was transported to Denver Health Medical Center with critical injuries and remains in serious condition. Two 16-year-old male passengers were transported to Children’s Hospital with non-life threatening injuries and remained in serious condition on Saturday. A fourth occupant, an 18-year-old female, was treated for minor injuries and released.

The chief declined to say whether investigators found liquor or beer bottles in the car.

He simply said that school resource officers, criminal investigators and traffic unit technicians “discovered substantial evidence that alcohol was involved.”

After he mentioned school resource officers, reporters asked if the kids had been drinking on campus.

“Because this is a very serious criminal investigation and it is ongoing, I’m not allowed to release that information at this time,” Smith said.

Adams County School District 14 Superintendent Pat Sanchez told 7NEWS that he doesn’t believe the students were drinking in the school parking lot.

“I can tell you we will find out,” he said.  

7NEWS received a tip that the kids were last seen at Infamous Barber Shop just a few minutes before the deadly crash.

The staff told 7NEWS that two 16-year old boys came in to “make an appointment to get their hair cut, then left.”

Sanchez said it was very sobering to get a call and learn about the accident.

“Our main focus is supporting the students and staff,” Sanchez said.  “Our thoughts are with the families of those who were injured or killed.

The superintendent said this crash is a reminder that parents should be involved closely in their children’s lives, even if those children are in High School.

“Many times, students don’t want Mom and Dad involved,” Sanchez said. “It’s not cool to have them involved.  But I would argue that you need to be aware of what your kids are doing, especially in High School.”

He said counselors will be at the school Monday to provide support to students and staff.

Smith said that charges will likely be filed against the driver.

“The investigation that I mentioned is criminal in nature and is serious,” Smith said. “The charges that we’re evaluating are vehicular homicide.”

Police shut down Highway 2 for 5 and ½ hours following the crash. Smith said investigators would like to hear from anyone who witnessed the crash or who has knowledge of events just prior.

If you have infomation about what happened, call Commerce City Police at 303-289-3626.

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