Victims of Colorado Highway 9 crash identified as Summit County residents Ben Mitton, Niki Gough

Ben Mitton, left, and Niki Gough

DILLON — A family member identified Ben Mitton and Niki Gough as the victims of Friday’s head-on crash on Colorado Highway 9 near Blue River.

Laurie Richardson, Mitton’s aunt, remembered Ben on Monday as kind, caring and independent.

“Ben was a very kind soul, always in a good mood,” Richardson said. “He was happy. He was friendly.”

Mitton, 41, and his girlfriend, Gough, were killed when a suspected drunken driver hit their vehicle, causing it to roll. Mitton and Gough were ejected from the vehicle and died from their injuries. The woman who allegedly caused the crash was arrested on suspicion vehicular homicide, DUI and failure to drive in a designated lane.

A fourth generation Coloradan, Mitton was born in 1978 in Colorado Springs.

He was the only child of David Mitton and Jeri Haskell and was raised primarily by his father in Colorado Springs before spending his teen years with his mother in Alaska.

“She was a little bit of a wanderlust,” Richardson said about her younger sister, Jeri, who died of breast cancer seven years ago.

In Alaska, Mitton met his wife Gloria. The couple returned to Colorado Springs, where they had a son, Jasper, now 21 with a son of his own.

How to help

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help with funeral costs.

While in Colorado Springs, Mitton’s mother was diagnosed with cancer, and he cared for her in the final years of her life, something his aunt admitted could not have been easy.

“My sister could be very difficult,” Richardson said while chuckling at memories of her younger sister.

Throughout his life, Mitton always made time to head to his happy place: the mountains.

“His most favorite thing to do was to go to the mountains and be in the mountains,” Richardson said. “Four-wheeling, going to the mountains, going camping, spending time outdoors in the mountains — those were his favorite things to do.”

Niki Gough, left and Ben Mitton

After Mitton and his wife split, he had been dating Gough for the past year or so, Richardson said.

“We really liked her. We thought Ben was very fortunate because she was a wonderful young lady,” Richardson said.

Gough had three children of her own, ranging in age from teens to young adults.

After hearing about the circumstances of the crash, Richardson said she was very frustrated and angry but admitted “none of us are without fault.”

Richardson was planning to head to Colorado on Monday to help with the many details surrounding the sudden deaths and to support her nephew Jasper and his son, Oliver, who turned 3 on Saturday, one day after the crash.

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