A Bayfield woman faces charges after police said she caused a head-on crash Saturday on U.S. Highway 160 with a motorcycle, leaving one person dead and another in critical condition.
Katherine Phelps, 75, was charged with one count of careless driving causing death, a misdemeanor, said Colorado State Patrol Cpt. Adrian Driscoll.
Phelps was headed westbound on U.S. Highway 160 in a 2010 Subaru Forester around 12:30 p.m. Saturday when at the County Road 501 intersection she turned left in front of a 2007 Harley-Davidson.
The driver of the motorcycle, who was pronounced dead at the scene, has been identified as 48-year-old Jason Dupuis of Durango.
A passenger on the motorcycle – Dawn Dupuis, 53, of Durango – was transported to Mercy Regional Medical Center with critical injuries, Driscoll said.
Mercy spokesman David Bruzzese said Sunday that Dawn Dupuis was transferred to another hospital for further care. A spokeswoman at St. Anthony’s Hospital in Lakewood said Dupuis was listed in critical condition as of 4:30 p.m.
Driscoll said authorities do not suspect that drugs, alcohol or excessive speed were factors in the crash.
“We don’t know why she turned,” Driscoll said. “She just made the left turn.”
Phelps sustained minor injuries in the crash.
Jason and Dawn Dupuis were not wearing helmets, police said. They were thrown from the bike in the crash.
A conviction on careless driving resulting in death can result in a maximum sentence of one year in a county jail. It’s a lesser charge for people authorities believe were driving inattentively, rather than more serious charges of vehicular homicide or assault.