Tow truck operator killed, CSP trooper injured in Weld County crash

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WELD COUNTY, Colo. -- A Colorado State Trooper was injured in a fatal crash on Highway 85 Saturday afternoon.

The crash occurred at about 1 p.m. on southbound Weld County Road 8. Both directions of Highway 85 were shut down after a Ford 250 crashed into a tow truck and a CSP vehicle, according to officials.

Sgt. Mike Baker with CSP said the tow truck operator were cleaning up a single vehicle accident in the left lane of Highway 85 at Weld County Road 8, when a Ford F-250 slammed into a trooper vehicle parked behind the accident.

One of the cars struck the tow truck operator, who was pronounced dead at the scene. The tow operator was identified as 47-year-old Martin Braden of Aurora.  Braden was working for C & J Auto Service, clearing debris from the roadway.

The CSP trooper was airlifted from the accident with minor to serious injuries.

The driver of the Ford was identified as Dana Beales of Fort Lupton. Beales suffered minor injuries.

Troopers are not sure whether alcohol or drugs were involved in the crash.

Colorado State Patrol is tired of motorists endangering people who work on state highways and roads.

"We're sick of it. It's not just state troopers, it's not just police officers. Tow companies, tow operators, CDOT, road maintenance vehicles... they're all protected in statute," Sgt. Baker said. "When you see amber lights, red and blue lights, any kind of emergency lighting from those types of vehicles you have to at the very least slow down, certainly move over at least one lane... That obviously didn't occur in this case... We're tired of it. It's not acceptable for these crashes anymore. People should know better than this."