Family was crossing road in July 4 Grand Lake fatal accident
GRAND LAKE —An illustration generated by the Colorado State Patrol shows the Westley family was crossing the roadway that night four members were injured, another fatally.
The Colorado State Patrol released the completed Traffic Accident Report detailing the vehicle-versus-multiple pedestrian accident the night of July 4, on Highway 34 near Grand Lake.
Lucus Ackerman, 33, of Grand Lake, was driving his 2006 Ford F150 eastbound (toward Grand Lake) on Highway 34 at the speed limit of 50 mph, the report says, when five pedestrians walked into the eastbound lane of traffic from the Shadow Mountain Reservoir side of the highway. The vehicle struck all five pedestrians with its right front side, 10 feet from the eastbound road edge.
The father of the Estes Park family of 10, Gregory Westley, was the first pedestrian to be struck by the vehicle and according to the report, he traveled 29 feet before he came to rest near the eastbound shoulder line. He was pronounced dead on scene.
The other four pedestrians hit in the incident were flown to Denver area hospitals before the State Patrol completed its investigation of the scene.
The vehicle continued 78 feet after impact and came to rest in the eastbound lane, 12 feet from the eastbound road edge, according to the report.
Several attempt to gather more details on why the family was in that specific area that night so-far have been unsuccessful. Ackerman bailed out of Grand County Jail on Tuesday, July 9, where he was being held on charges of vehicular homicide while driving under the influence of alcohol or one or more drugs, a class 3 felony, four counts of vehicular assault while driving under the influence of alcohol, child abuse, and possession of a firearm under the influence. The child abuse charge stems from Ackerman having his two children, ages 6 and 8, in the vehicle while allegedly driving under the influence.
The case will be brought in front a grand jury to decide what charges, if any, will be filed against Ackerman.
His next court appearance is scheduled for Aug. 9.
Reid Tulley can be reached at 970-887-3334
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
The Sky-Hi News strives to deliver powerful stories that spark emotion and focus on the place we live.
Over the past year, contributions from readers like you helped to fund some of our most important reporting, including coverage of the East Troublesome Fire.
If you value local journalism, consider making a contribution to our newsroom in support of the work we do.