WELD COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — FOX31 is learning new information about last month’s deadly crash in Weld County that killed five family members, including an infant. It happened on Interstate 25 at mile marker 243 after a semi truck driver failed to stop and slammed into an SUV.
Colorado State Patrol has confirmed that the truck driver did not have a valid CDL, or commercial driver’s license, at the time of the crash, meaning the driver was illegally operating the big rig.
It was June 13 when Aaron Godines and Haile Everts, an engaged couple, along with their 3-month-old Tessleigh and Godines’ parents, Christina and Emiliano, were celebrating a birthday in Denver and heading back to Wyoming when the crash happened. All five family members lost their lives during the incident.
“She was my firstborn,” Desiree Everts said. “She was my baby girl.”
FOX31 spoke with Desiree Everts two days after losing her daughter, granddaughter and future son-in-law. She was heartbroken and was in shock, but it’s been nearly two months and no charges have been filed.
Report: Brakes, distraction, CDL at issue in crash
Initial reports said the multi-vehicle crash was caused by the semi-truck rear-ending the SUV, but a new crash report is shedding more light on that day. The CSP report states the truck driver may have been “distracted” and their actions may have been “careless.”
It also states the truck’s brakes may have been defective or out of adjustment.
Denver attorney Dan Sloane, who specializes in trucking accidents, weighed in.
“It’s obviously a shame what happened. It never should have happened,” Sloane said. “From my perspective, a company has to be responsible for its drivers and this company was not responsible for its driver.”
The report also states the driver made no attempt to avoid the crash. The victim’s family told the Problem Solvers that the truck driver was traveling 75 mph while their loved ones, stuck in slowing traffic, were traveling 5 mph on impact.
According to the report, the trucking company is Caminante Trucking and is based out of California. FOX31 called and they did not return our phone call.
Sloan said the company is at fault in this as well, because the driver was allowed to get behind the wheel without a CDL.
“He has to have a CDL to operate this vehicle, and 100% the company that hired him to take the load to wherever he was taking it has a responsibility to not hire unlicensed drivers,” Sloane said.
FOX31 called the truck driver and he picked up and said he’s been advised not to speak to anyone. FOX31 also reached out to the Weld County District Attorney’s Office about charges, and they say Colorado State Police are still investigating and the case hasn’t been forwarded to their office yet.