Vehicular homicide charge related to South Routt County crash dismissed
April 16, 2013
Steamboat Springs — A vehicular homicide charge has been dismissed against a Brighton man who was driving a car that crashed and killed the 72-year-old passenger from Denver in October near mile marker 28 on Colorado Highway 131 about six miles south of Toponas.
Along with vehicular homicide, a Class 3 felony, Mark E. Hendrixson was charged with DUI, careless driving, driving without insurance and driving under restraint. As part of a plea deal, Hendrixson pleaded guilty last week to careless driving resulting in death, a Class 1 traffic misdemeanor. He avoided any jail time, was sentenced to one year of supervised probation and has to pay a $300 fine along with court costs. Routt County Court records do not state whether his driving privileges will be affected.
The Colorado State Patrol thinks Hendrixson was driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. A blood test, though, showed his blood alcohol content was 0.03, well below the 0.08 legal limit. The documents do not state the results of drug tests.
According to the Colorado State Patrol, Hendrixson and Robert Bratz were driving south on Colo. 131, and the 1998 Ford Crown Victoria went off the right side of the road on a downhill curve going to the left. Hendrixson then abruptly steered the car to the left, and the car went across the road while rotating counterclockwise. The car went off the left side of the road and rolled 1 1/2 times before stopping on its roof.
Bratz was pronounced dead at the scene. He was not wearing a seat belt and had been partially ejected through the windshield.
Hendrixson was wearing a seat belt and was injured seriously in the crash. He was taken to Yampa Valley Medical Center and then flown to Denver Health Medical Center.
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A message left with Hendrixson's attorney in Westminster was not immediately returned Tuesday. That was also the case with Routt County Chief Deputy District Attorney Rusty Prindle.
To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com