Cortez woman charged in deadly U.S. 160 crash

California couple killed when motorcycle sideswiped

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California couple died at the scene after motorcycle was sideswiped

Authorities on Wednesday identified two California residents who were killed this week when a suspected drunken driver struck their motorcycle west of Hesperus.

The victims were identified as Frank Steward, 66, and Jessica Steward, 65, of Tahoe Vista, Calif.

The couple died at the scene of the crash after being thrown from their 2011 Harley-Davidson.

Neither wore helmets, said Capt. Martin Petrik, with the Colorado State Patrol. At least one helmet was in a bag at the scene.

Cortez resident Stacie Pierce-Green, 40, was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving and vehicular homicide, Petrik said.

She was being held Wednesday night in the La Plata County jail on $25,000 bail. She also had a probation hold, which means she can’t post bail until she meets with a probation officer.

Details of her criminal history were not immediately available Wednesday. But she has a relatively clean driving history dating back to 2007 in Colorado, said Trooper Jonathan Silver, with the Colorado State Patrol.

The Stewards were traveling eastbound when Pierce-Green, driving a green 1997 green Mercury Tracer westbound, crossed into oncoming traffic and sideswiped the motorcycle, Petrik said.

A witness driving behind Pierce-Green didn’t see any unusual driving behavior leading up to the crash, Petrik said. She crossed into oncoming traffic by only a few feet, but the Stewards were riding close to the double-yellow line in their own lane, he said.

The crash occurred on a curve about 100 feet from a triple-fatal crash that happened last year.

“The curve has nothing to do with it,” Petrik said. “It is properly sloped. It was the people that caused it.”