Trial for driver in fatal Red Dirt Hill crash vacated

A crash on Highway 40, just north of the entrance to Snow Mountain Ranch, claimed the life of two people in May 2019.
Sky-Hi News file photo

The trial of a Granby driver involved in a multiple vehicle crash that killed a Wyoming couple has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thomas Lange, 20, who in December pleaded not guilty to two counts of careless driving causing death, was set to stand trial May 12-13. However, the trial has been vacated by the court, and Lange is now set for arraignment on May 26.

The Colorado Supreme Court issued an order prohibiting jury trials through July worried that juries couldn’t be called safely.

In May, Lange was driving a 2002 Ford F-250 on US Highway 40 north of the entrance to YMCA of the Rockies-Snow Mountain Ranch by Red Dirt Hill in Grand County. He was following a 2014 Chevrolet Malibu driven by 20-year-old Gavin Laing of Leadville.

According to Colorado State Patrol, the Malibu slowed because the passing lane was about to end, and Lange rear-ended the Malibu in his pickup. Lange’s pickup then crossed into the westbound lane and hit a 2004 Buick sedan head on.

The front of the sedan was crushed and Lange’s truck rolled onto its side.

The driver of the sedan, Raymond Allen Shelton, 77, and his wife Betty Jean Shelton, 75, of Saratoga, Wyoming, were taken to Middle Park Health with injuries they later died from.

Lange was hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries. The driver of the Malibu was not seriously hurt.

More Like This, Tap A Topic

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.