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Tow Truck Operator Dies, Trooper Hurt In Crash

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BRIGHTON, Colo. (CBS4) – A tow truck operator was killed and a Colorado State Patrol trooper was injured in a devastating crash on Highway 85 in Weld County on Saturday.

At approximately 1 p.m. the tow truck operator, an Aurora resident named Martin Braden, was on the scene of a crash, located just north of Brighton at Highway 85 and Weld County Road 6.

A small SUV that had been involved in the accident had been loaded on the tow truck in the left lane. There was a Colorado State Patrol cruiser present with its lights flashing.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

The tow truck operator was sweeping debris from the crash off the road when a pickup truck traveling southbound on Highway 85 crashed into Trooper Scott Rendfrey’s cruiser, knocking it off the right shoulder of the road.

The truck then struck and killed Braden.

Colorado State Patrol spokesman Sgt. Mike Baker said it’s hard to believe the driver didn’t see the crash scene.

“With the visibility here — there’s at least half a mile in each direction — we are going to investigate why the F-250’s driver did not move and did not slow down and did not avoid our trooper and the tow operator,” Sgt. Mike Baker said.

State Patrol officials said the pickup was driven by Dana Beales, 61, of Fort Lupton. Officials said he was not impaired at the time of the crash. He suffered minor injuries.

C & J Towing, the tow truck service, is based out of Fort Lupton. They said Braden is very well respected with the company. He is survived by a wife and grown children.

Trooper Rendfrey was taken to Denver Health Medical Center in a helicopter. He suffered moderate injuries.

Southbound Highway 85 was closed all afternoon after the crashes.

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