A 59-year-old Bayfield man died Wednesday morning in a head-on crash on U.S. Highway 160 a couple of miles east of Bayfield.
The victim was identified as Michael D. Scalet, an assistant cross-country coach for Bayfield High School and a track coach for Bayfield Middle School. He was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, said Capt. Adrian Driscoll, with the Colorado State Patrol.
The second driver, John J. O’Bryan, 23, of Durango, was taken to Mercy Regional Medical Center with serious injuries and was listed in good condition Wednesday afternoon.
The crash occurred at 6:34 a.m. near mile marker 106, which is two miles east of Bayfield town limits.
Scalet, driving a white 2000 Toyota pickup, was heading west when he drifted off the right side of the road, over-corrected and ran head-on into O’Bryan, who was driving a blue 2008 Chevy Silverado.
Scalet was thrown from the pickup, which caught fire upon impact, Driscoll said.
It was unknown if he wore a seat belt, Driscoll said.
O’Bryan’s vehicle rolled a quarter time and came to rest on its side.
The highway was closed about three hours while medics and crash investigators cleaned up the scene.
In addition to coaching cross country, Scalet also drove school buses and did maintenance for Bayfield School District, said Josh Walton, cross country coach for Bayfield High School.
Last year was his first year coaching, Walton said.
“The kids really enjoyed him as a coach,” Walton said “I’m really sad that we’re going to lose him.”