Californian dies in collision

State Patrol finds no cause of collision on U.S. 491, continues investigation

Colorado State Patrol trooper Ben Steger surveys the damage at a head-on collision just north of Pleasant View on U.S. 491 about 8 a.m. Wednesday. The driver of the Honda SUV that hit the semi-trailer died in the collision. Enlargephoto

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

Colorado State Patrol trooper Ben Steger surveys the damage at a head-on collision just north of Pleasant View on U.S. 491 about 8 a.m. Wednesday. The driver of the Honda SUV that hit the semi-trailer died in the collision.

A 40-year-old California man was pronounced dead on the scene after a head-on collision about 8 a.m. Wednesday on U.S. 491 north of Pleasant View.

A Colorado State Patrol spokesperson said Gabriel Zamario Chavez died after his southbound 2006 Honda SUV crossed the center line, hitting a 2014 International semi-trailer driven by Daniel Vanlandingham, 27, also of California. Vanlandingham suffered moderate injuries, and was transported to Southwest Memorial Hospital.

“The SUV bounced off the truck,” the CSP spokesman said.

The semi jack-knifed.

The CSP spokesperson said no indicators – drug, alcohol, excessive speed or cellphone use – have been linked to the cause of the collision.

“Both parties were wearing their seat belts,” said the CSP spokesman.

A final report is due in a few days and will include mechanical inspections of both vehicles.

Car parts litter the highway where a Honda SUV collided with a semi-trailer on U.S. 491 just north of Pleasant View. Enlargephoto

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

Car parts litter the highway where a Honda SUV collided with a semi-trailer on U.S. 491 just north of Pleasant View.