Possible road-rage homicide being investigated in Greeley | SummitDaily.com

Possible road-rage homicide being investigated in Greeley

Tommy Simmons
tsimmons@greeleytribune.com

By Tuesday afternoon, a set of tire tracks on the street and a crumbling cement retaining wall were all that remained from what was a busy central Greeley crime scene early in the day.

Police believe a homicide occurred in the 2900 block of 29th Street about 11 a.m. Greeley police Lt. Roy Smith said officers initially believed they were responding to a traffic crash with injuries.

When officers arrived, they determined the sole occupant of one wrecked vehicle, a white pickup, was deceased. They began investigating and determined the man's death may have been a homicide. Some witnesses told police they heard an explosion before the pickup crashed into a nearby retaining wall.

"From witness statements and through evidence, it appears to be a possible road-rage type incident that resulted in the death," Smith said.

The suspect vehicle — described as a tan or gold 1998-2002 Chevrolet S-10 pickup with black fender flares — fled the scene.

Weld County Coroner Carl Blesch declined Tuesday afternoon to release the victim's name, pending notification of next of kin. He also said he was not yet certain the death was a homicide.

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At the scene, police had 29th Street closed much of the day between 30th Street and 31st Avenue as detectives worked to investigate and collect evidence, including a set of bloody clothes near the white truck.

The truck, which appeared to have sustained minor damage, sat perched atop a small slope on the side of the road as the afternoon wore on. Through its driver side door, a bloody airbag was visible.

According to a decal on the side of the pickup's door, the vehicle belonged to Estes Valley Asphalt. A man who answered the phone at the company declined to comment.

Chuck Shelley, who works at the nearby Greeley Harley Davidson and Wild West Motorsports, 3010 29th St., said first responders had been on the scene since about 11 a.m. He said he saw bits and pieces of the incident through the company's surveillance videos, including one of the vehicles speeding away from the scene.

A mass of dark storm clouds loomed above the truck as investigators worked, and a frigid wind hissed across the scene. By 2:30 p.m., a steady rain drenched the street.

Bradley Every, principal of nearby Frontier Academy Elementary School, 2560 29th St., said police did not tell him there was any need to place his school on lockdown. He confirmed students were released at the normal time, about 3:20 p.m.

By 5 p.m., traffic flowed on 29th Street again. The scene was devoid of emergency vehicles or caution tape, leaving only the damaged retaining wall and tire marks beneath an ashen sky.

To help

The suspect vehicle in what police say is a possible road rage homicide was described as a 1998-2002 Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck, tan or gold in color. The vehicle has black fender flares. Authorities are asking that anyone with information about the homicide or the suspect vehicle to contact Greeley police at (970) 350-9605 or (970) 350-9670.