Troopers identify man seriously injured in Tuesday morning’s Colo. 392 crash | MyWindsorNow.com

Troopers identify man seriously injured in Tuesday morning’s Colo. 392 crash

Nate A. Miller
nmiller@greeleytribune.com

Jason Claeys spent Tuesday praying.

The Fort Collins native was trying to get to work in Windsor early that morning. On his way there, he took Colo. 392, which is how, at about 6:45 a.m., he found himself one car behind Oscar Diaz, 29, who was driving a 2003 Chevrolet Impala. Claeys watched everything unfold with horrific clarity.

The Impala began to drift into the westbound lanes of Colo. 392 near Weld County Road 13. The car's progress was gradual, Claeys said, and it was moving at about 55 mph, which is the posted speed limit in that area. It looked as if the driver had fallen asleep.

"I'm like, pull back, pull back, pull back," Claeys said.

He wasn't the only one watching the Impala's progress.

Shanna Livengood, 59, sat in a semitrailer truck parked on the shoulder of the highway's westbound lane, according to Colorado State Patrol troopers. Livengood saw the Impala veer into the wrong lane and parked to avoid hitting it.

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Claeys said the Impala just missed hitting the front of the semi. Instead, he said, the car crashed into the truck's wheels, leaving the vehicle's driver's side crushed.

"It was horrific," Claeys said. "It's hard to even get that picture out of my head."

He pulled over to the side of the road and made his way to the crash, unsure of what to expect. There was nothing he could do, he said — the whole front end of the car was crushed under the truck's wheels. So he returned to his truck and called 911. As he did, he could see another driver who stopped to help. That driver opened the rear door of the Impala and was cradling Diaz's head. The other driver was speaking, but Claeys said he couldn't hear anything.

When first responders arrived, they began to cut the Impala apart to pull Diaz out. It took them about seven minutes to have the car in pieces, Claeys said.

"When they pulled him out I couldn't tell how aware he was," Claeys said.

During that time, first responders shut down traffic on Colo. 392 and kept it closed until 8:20 a.m.

According to Colorado State Patrol Trooper Nate Reid, Diaz had serious injuries. He was taken to Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland. Reid said was he was not sure if troopers believe drugs or alcohol played a role in the crash. He did confirm Livengood, the truck driver, was uninjured.

Claeys went to work, but he said he's been worried about Diaz ever since.

"I've been praying for that guy all day," he said.