UPDATE: Three dead ID’d in head-on collision
A Towaoc women and a husband and wife from New Mexico were killed after a head-on collision Sunday afternoon south of Cortez on U.S. 160.
The Colorado State Patrol confirmed that a Kia Sorento from Utah was southbound on U.S. 160 about 3:15 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 20, when it veered into oncoming traffic and sideswiped a Dodge pickup hauling an RV trailer before hitting a northbound Pontiac head-on. The Dodge and Pontiac were registered from New Mexico.
The female driver of the Kia, Jessica Nephi, 26, of Towaoc, was pronounced dead at the scene. Jeremy and Denise Joe, a husband and wife from New Mexico, were also pronounced dead at the scene. Denise Joe, 22, was reportedly driving the Pontiac, and Jeremy Joe, 20, was a passenger.
Officials said the accident remains under investigation, but it’s believed an unrestrained 2-year-old distracted the Kia driver.
The toddler and a 20-year-old female passenger in the Kia were transported to Southwest Memorial Hospital with serious injuries, officials said. The toddler is expected to make a full recovery, and the adult passenger remains in critical condition, according to state police.
The male driver of the Dodge was uninjured.
The crash occurred near Mile Marker 31.