Horrific crash that killed couple and gravely injured baby boy was preventable, State Patrol said
PUEBLO, Colo. (KKTV) - An infant was the sole survivor of a crash that killed a couple Sunday morning.
“I’ve investigated over 200 crashes that end in tragedy,” said Art Gumke with Colorado State Patrol. “The one thing that bothers me most is seeing the child. Because children are innocent.”
Investigators say the months-old boy was in a Cadillac Deville traveling eastbound on Highway 50 well over the speed limit. The car smashed into a semi that was trying to turn onto 36th Lane. Jeremy Jaramillo, 29, and Brittany Montez, 31, died at the scene. The child suffered life-threatening injuries and was flown to Children’s Hospital in Colorado Springs. Jaramillo was reportedly behind the wheel.
The semi was moving slowly when the Cadillac rear-ended it, and the truck driver was uninjured, according to State Patrol.
As troopers investigate the collision, they say the horrific outcome was likely preventable. Witness accounts suggest along with speeding, drugs and/or alcohol could have played a role, and evidence at the scene indicates the parents were not wearing seat belts and had not properly restrained their small child.
“Restraints do save lives. take that half a second to put on that seat belt. Especially with the kids. I believe this child was 10 or 11 months old. When I arrived on scene, it was in a forward facing seat. That’s not the proper seat for a child; it should’ve been a rear-facing seat. ... I think that’s what gets me the most is seeing the children hurt when it could’ve been prevented,” Gumke said.
Information on Colorado’s child passenger safety law can be found here. State Patrol says there are programs that help parents properly install and use child car seats. Click here for car seat inspection station near you.
“For a parent of any age, that’s our responsibility, making sure that child is safe,” Gumke told 11 News.
Troopers encourage anyone who sees someone driving dangerously on the roads to call law enforcement.
“We’ve had several witnesses on scene describe the driving behavior of the individual who was driving. ... If you see someone that is driving recklessly, dangerously, and you think they might be impaired to the slightest degree, they can always call ‘227′ ... on their phone and that will connect them to the closest communication center and get that information aired out right away,” Gumke said.
Family and friends say the young couple was embarking on a new life as parents of a baby boy. One of Jaramillo’s relatives told 11 News he’ll be remembered every day as a loving father, son and brother.
At last report Monday, the infant was stable.
“I’m hoping for the best that that baby can pull through and be able to live a happy life,” Gumke said.
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