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City crash victim ID'd

By Shane Benjamin Herald staff writer

The victim of a fatal crash Monday on South Camino del Rio near Nature's Oasis has been identified as Willis Irvine III, 73, of Durango.

Irvine was driving a blue Honda Accord southbound and turning left onto a frontage road when his vehicle was broadsided by a dump truck traveling north.

On Tuesday, police said they remained uncertain about who caused the crash.

“We have some conflicting reports from different witnesses about the light,” said Lt. Ray Shupe, spokesman with the Durango Police Department.

The traffic signal was reported to be malfunctioning twice Monday, once at 11:30 a.m. and again at 4:29 p.m., said Detective Trish Hutchens.

The crash was reported at 2:39 p.m.

The light was flashing yellow for north and south directions of travel, and flashing red for drivers on the frontage road, she said.

Hutchens said the Colorado Department of Transportation fixed the signal after the first report.

“We did get a report from CDOT that, yes, the lights were malfunctioning earlier in the day, and they did the repairs to it,” Hutchens said. “Nobody I have talked to at this point has said there was a malfunction at the time of the accident – people who were eyewitnesses of it,” she said.

A CDOT spokeswoman did not immediately return a phone call Tuesday night seeking further details about the malfunction and repair.

Witnesses were scheduled to meet with police Tuesday night as part of the continuing investigation.

The dump truck's driver was identified as Zachariah Lawrence, 42, of Durango. He was not injured. The truck is owned by M. Leeder Construction.

Efforts to reach Irvine's family members were unsuccessful Tuesday.

Anyone who witnessed the accident and has not talked to police is asked to call Hutchens at 375-4733.

shane@durangoherald.com

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