Report: High school teacher from Iowa and daughter killed in Thanksgiving crash in Fort Collins

FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- Two people died in a collision with a truck that police had stopped moments earlier in Fort Collins on Thanksgiving. The suspect was wanted in connection with a burglary that involved smashing a truck into a pawn shop where firearms were reported stolen.

The crash happened Thanksgiving morning at East Harmony Road and Boardwalk Drive. Police identified the suspect driver as 19-year-old Marcos Orozco.

The Larimer County Coroner's Office confirmed the victims' names Saturday afternoon. 55-year-old Rick Nees of Cedar Rapids, Iowa and his daughter, 38-year-old Nicole Nees of Fort Collins, died at the scene. The coroner's office said they died from multiple blunt-force injuries and that death was immediate for both.

The Gazette in Cedar Rapids, Iowa reported that Rick was a high school math teacher.

“It is with a very heavy heart that I report to you that Rick Nees, long-time Math teacher at Kennedy High School, has passed away,” school Principal Jason Kline wrote in an email to parents.

“This is very devastating news and I know we all will be hurting. Please know that we will have support resources available for staff and students on Monday starting at 7 a.m.,” Kline wrote.

Fort Collins police also released more details about the incident.

It started at 3:35 a.m. Thursday.

"Fort Collins Police Services received a call of a burglary alarm activation at a pawn shop located in the 2900 block of S. College Ave. Officers responded and were able to determine that a vehicle was used to drive through the store front to gain entry. Through the investigation, it was discovered that firearms were stolen from the pawn shop," a statement from Fort Collins police said Friday.

"At approximately 9:46 am Fort Collins Police received a call of a suspicious vehicle near the intersection of Caribou Dr. and Arctic Fox Dr. The caller reportedly saw firearms inside the vehicle. Officers arrived in the area and contacted the sole occupant of the vehicle. Upon contact with the suspect, he fled the area in the vehicle. In the interest of public safety and per department policy, officers did not pursue the suspect."

The deadly crash happened soon after that.

Marcos OrozcoOrozco faces a number of charges related to burglary and vehicular eluding. The investigation into the fatal crash continues and additional charges are pending the outcome of that investigation.

One man told FOX31 the crash Thursday sound like an “explosion.”

Two people were killed. It is not clear if others were hurt.

Part of one car was mangled beyond recognition.

Gretchen Ohair said, “It startled me and I felt horrible for the families getting that call this (Thanksgiving) morning.”

A bystander – we are told – detained the truck’s driver – who tried to run.

We are not showing their faces since we have not confirmed their identity.

Minutes earlier, police say, they had encountered the same truck while answering a call about a suspicious vehicle.

Officers would not say if the truck they surrounded at the corner of Caribou and Arctic Fox was stolen.

Brady Strange said he “saw Swat bumping the front of the truck. They were telling the driver to get out and (he) wasn’t getting out. Then the truck backed up and then tried to peel out. Then the SWAT hit it on the passenger side and he was burning tires burning tires … but then they let him go.”

Officers decided not to chase it in the residential area.

Shortly afterward, the deadly crash took place.

Investigators were trying to determine the truck’s speed before it crashed into a convenience store.

Police have not released the name of the driver or the people who were killed in the crash Thursday.

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