Teen to be charged with vehicular homicide in Boulder County crash that killed Longmont couple – The Denver Post
One of the drivers in a crash on Diagonal Highway that killed two people in October will be charged with vehicular homicide after investigators determined his excessive speed led to the collision.
Hunter Claycomb, 19, was arrested Friday on suspicion of two counts of vehicular homicide, reckless endangerment, reckless driving and speeding more than 40 mph over the limit.
Claycomb was released on a $10,000 personal recognizance bond and is set for a formal filing of charges Tuesday.
According to an arrest affidavit, Colorado State Patrol investigators determined Claycomb was at fault in a crash that killed Robert Melanson, 58, and Cindi Melanson, 57, of Longmont.
Claycomb was driving a BMW south on Diagonal Highway on Oct. 10 when he struck the Melansons’ truck as they were crossing Diagonal Highway east on Oxford Road.
The impact caused both vehicles to roll and then catch fire. Robert Melanson was declared dead on scene, while Cindi Melanson was taken to Good Samaritan Medical Center, where she died of her injuries.
Claycomb was able to get out of his car and suffered only minor injuries.
Initial reports from state patrol noted that Claycomb did not appear intoxicated and would have technically had the right of way with the Melansons at a stop sign on Oxford Road.
However, according to the affidavit, investigators did a crash reconstruction and determined Claycomb was driving at about 107 mph in a 65 mph zone.
The crash reconstruction determined that the Melansons did stop at the stop sign and proceeded through the intersection when Claycomb was still 800 feet away, which investigators wrote “was in accordance with how a reasonable person faced with the same circumstance would proceed.”
“My observations and tests made it clear to me that a reasonable person would feel safe to cross Diagonal Highway from the stop sign on Oxford Road when viewing approaching vehicles 650 feet and further away,” an investigator wrote. “Had Mr. Melanson seen Mr. Claycomb’s vehicle approaching from over 800 feet away he, like a reasonable person, would have assumed it to be safe to cross the highway.”
Investigators determined Claycomb was only able to slow down to about 96 mph when he crashed into the Melanson’s truck. The crash reconstruction estimated the crash would have not occurred if Claycomb had been driving at even 90 mph.
But investigators noted Claycomb was in the right lane but for some reason turned left to try and dodge the truck even though the truck was headed left. The crash reconstruction determined that even at his high rate of speed, Claycomb would have avoided the crash altogether if he had simply stayed in the right lane.
“The driver of the BMW, Hunter Claycomb, exhibited a lack of experience and control of his vehicle,” an investigator wrote in the affidavit. “His ‘avoidance’ maneuvers while traveling at an extreme speed directed his vehicle into the side of the Melansons’ vehicle resulting in the crash, and subsequent death of Robert and Cindi Melanson.
“Mr. Claycomb’s driving actions on the afternoon of (Oct. 10) were the proximate cause of the crash and the subsequent deaths of Robert and Cindi Melanson. Had Mr. Claycomb not been operating his vehicle recklessly at a speed 42 miles per hour over the posted speed limit of 65 miles per hour, the crash that took the lives of Robert and Cindi Melanson would not have occurred.”
Claycomb does not have any prior history in Colorado, according to online court records.
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