Shuttle crash driver leaves country, owner says |

Shuttle crash driver leaves country, owner says

eagle county correspondent

DENVER ” Two passengers injured in the Colorado Mountain Express shuttle crash have filed a lawsuit against the company and the driver, who has returned to Spain, said attorney Russell Hatten.

Hatten is representing passengers Jason Laforte and Thomas Gruber.

Meanwhile, the condition of passenger James Griggs, the most seriously injured in the March 25 crash, has improved to serious, said Bev Lilly, spokeswoman for St. Anthony Central Hospital in Denver.

Sebastian Lopez, the 28-year-old driver for the Edwards-based shuttle service, is no longer with the company and returned to his home country, said Jay Ufer, chief executive of Colorado Mountain Express.

Lopez left because his visa was set to expire, Ufer said.

Laforte and Gruber, New York residents, have filed a lawsuit contending negligence against East West Resort Transportation LLC, Colorado Mountain Express’s parent company, and Lopez, Hatten said.

Various agencies continue to investigate the accident, Ufer said.

“One should expect in order to do this properly and thoroughly it’s going to take time,” Ufer said.

Ufer has not been notified of any other lawsuits, he said.

Lopez told police he was driving 60 miles per hour when he crashed into the snowplow that was blocking a closed stretch of the freeway near Georgetown, the Colorado State Patrol has said. Ten were injured in the crash, eight of whom were passengers in the van.

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