Three die after hitting bear on I-70 near Rifle |

Three die after hitting bear on I-70 near Rifle

Alex Zorn / Post Independent

Seven individuals were in the SUV that struck a bear on Interstate 70 outside of Rifle early Friday morning. Three died.

New Castle residents Kimberly Hernandez, 7, and her grandfather Eugenio Hernandez Altamirano, 63, were pronounced dead at the scene, confirmed Garfield County Coroner Robert Glassmire.

Brizeyda Hernandez, 15, Kimberly’s sister, died later at Grand River Hosptial in Rifle at 9:25 a.m.

Colorado State Patrol Trooper Nate Reed said that an unknown number of people in the vehicle were ejected in the crash.

The other occupants, Kimberly’s parents, grandmother, older sister and brother were transported to hospitals in Glenwood Springs and Rifle.

The Coroner’s Office does not have an update on the status of the other family members.

I-70 eastbound was closed from around 4 to 10 a.m. for crash and vehicle clean-up. Reed said that the patrol received the initial call at around 3:37 a.m.

The investigation into the cause and manner of deaths is ongoing, according to the CSP press release.

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