A mistrial was declared Monday in the trial of a Bloomfield man accused of crossing the centerline on U.S. Highway 160 west of Hesperus, killing a 56-year-old mother and injuring her husband and two grandchildren.
Donald Mills, 30, was charged with one count of careless driving causing death and three counts of careless driving causing bodily injury, stemming from the incident Dec. 26, 2018.
Sixth Judicial District Attorney Christian Champagne said the jury was unable to come to a unanimous decision, prompting the mistrial. He said prosecutors will re-examine the case, try to understand the jury’s reasoning and speak with the victims’ family before deciding whether to retry the case.
The Colorado State Patrol said Mills was headed west when he lost control of a box truck he was driving around 7:25 a.m., hitting a Ford Explorer head-on with a family of four.
Douglas Martinez of Cortez and his two grandchildren, ages 5 and 8, were taken to Mercy Regional Medical Center with multiple injuries.
His wife, Tary Martinez, was listed in critical condition the day of the crash. The next day, Martinez died from her injuries, said Capt. Adrian Driscoll.
Authorities said at the time neither excessive speed nor alcohol was suspected as contributing factors. Champagne declined to comment Monday on what prosecutors say caused Mills to cross the centerline.
Mills’ trial started Thursday and was overseen by La Plata County Judge Dondi Osborne.