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75-year-old dies in accident on Colorado National Monument

Authorities responded to the scene about a mile from the west entrance to the park.
The entrance to the Colorado National Monument.
The entrance to the Colorado National Monument.(KKCO/KJCT)
Published: Dec. 5, 2021 at 7:16 PM MST
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FRUITA, Colo. (KJCT) - UPDATE (Dec. 7 at 4:20 p.m.): The Mesa County Coroner’s Office has completed their examination of the individual who died due to a vehicle accident that occurred Sunday afternoon on the Colorado National Monument.

75-year-old James MacQueen was a resident of Grand Junction. The coroner’s office ruled the cause of his death to be due to multiple blunt force injuries and the manner of his death was ruled as an accident.

The National Parks Service is the lead on this investigation.

INITIAL ARTICLE: According to the National Park Service, a single-vehicle accident resulting in one fatality occurred around 12:30 p.m. on Sunday afternoon at the Colorado National Monument.

NPS Law Enforcement Rangers and other agencies responded to the scene about a mile from the west entrance to the monument on Rimrock Dr. According to officials, the vehicle left the road during the course of the incident. Rimrock Dr. was closed for response efforts, then reopened around 2 p.m. However, after 3 p.m., the road did close again to allow a tow truck to remove the vehicle involved. That closure ended around 4:30 p.m.

It is unknown at this time if there were any other individuals injured in the accident. The Mesa County Coroner’s Office will be responsible for releasing the identity of the deceased once proper notifications to his or her family are made.

NPS Law Enforcement Rangers will be investigating the incident. The park service is asking for empathy for the deceased’s family at this time.

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