FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) – For James Pickford, it wasn’t necessarily thought, but rather gut reaction that propelled him out of his black Prius sedan Friday morning near Horsetooth Reservoir in Larimer County.
It was around 8:20 a.m. and Pickford had left his home and was on his way to work when about 10 minutes into the drive he spotted a man in the middle of West County Road 38E. His first thought was that the man did not look good and might need help, so he slowed his vehicle.
Pickford soon regretted his decision. He had no way of knowing at the time that, according to investigators, the man approaching his vehicle was fleeing arrest, had shot a cab driver in the leg, and disappeared overnight before resurfacing Friday morning near the reservoir.
“As he approached me it got scary because I realized I had made a big mistake,” Pickford said. “He had a gun against his chest and he pointed the gun at the windshield right between my eyes.”
Pickford says the man appeared desperate. Fearing he’d turn to violence, Pickford stepped out of his vehicle and moved away as the man got in and drove off.
The man, according to the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office, was Adam Fulford, a 33-year-old who, according to investigators, then led deputies on chase from the reservoir south to Loveland.
At times, speeds reached 100 miles per hour. In Pickford’s Prius, they say Fulford drove the wrong direction on a two-lane highway and eventually crashed the vehicle into a silver Subaru at the intersection of Highway 34 and Wilson Avenue.
The woman driving the Subaru and her two daughters were seriously hurt in the crash.
After seeing images of the crash and knowing what else the man who police say carjacked him is accused of, Pickford says he feels angry for the people affected most. His car can be replaced, but the impact on people’s lives cannot be undone, Pickford said.
March 31, the day Pickford was carjacked, is one already filled with painful memories. He says three years ago on that same day he was assaulted by two men and suffered two stab wounds.
“It’s really ironic that something like that could happen to you twice,” Pickford said. “But I think the key thing is I do feel fortunate.”
After spending four days in the hospital, Fulford was booked into the Larimer County Jail on suspicion of six felony charges, in addition to the two felony drug charges deputies say he was attempting to run from. His bond has been set at $500,000 and he faces the possibility of more charges.
“He’s hurt a lot of people,” Pickford said. “He’s going to have to pay a price for it.”
According to a news release from the sheriff’s office on Wednesday, the mother and children hurt in the crash continue to recover from their injuries.
Last week, a spokeswoman for the cab driver shot and injured told CBS4 he is recovering and with family.