Leadville fatal car wreck victim identified
August 17, 2016
Details have emerged from a car accident that included multiple vehicles and took the life of one on Sunday evening, July 10, along State Highway 91 near Leadville.
Late Monday night, Colorado State Patrol filed its report of the incident that occurred at 5:25 p.m. and involved three passenger cars at mile marker 6 not far from White Mountain Snowmobile Zip-Line Tours. The crash happened when 21-year-old Brendan Dowell of Leadville, traveling south in a white 2004 Chevy Cavalier, crossed the centerline of the two-lane (one each direction) highway and initially struck the left rear of a 2011 BMW 335 heading northbound.
The BMW, carrying 41-year-old Allison Morrison of Boulder and her fellow female passenger from South Carolina, was sent spinning off the right side of the road into a ditch and to rest facing south. Neither woman was injured.
Meanwhile, the Cavalier continued into the northbound lane and collided head-on with a red 2003 Suzuki Aerio that contained 29-year-old Kevin Hemmings of Louisville, Colorado and 28-year-old Megan Hemmings. The two were eventually transported by ambulance to St. Vincent Hospital in Leadville with serious injuries, but the hospital has not released any updates on their respective conditions at this time.
The first commuters to arrive to the site of the accident initially faced phone coverage issues with reaching emergency services. Eventually, someone did get through to 911 Dispatch while a member of the group, who was a trained, off-duty EMT, attempted to provide aid to Dowell.
"He was stuck in the car, so they tried to make it, so they could get him out," said Jenn Kulinski of Thornton, who, along with her husband, was one of the first few cars to pull over and help. "But, once they got into the vehicle, they saw that he was not going to make it."
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A sheet was draped over Dowell's car — which, according to the witness, displayed Missouri tags — to cover the difficult scene. Kulinski and four others directed cars, alternating sides of traffic on the temporary one-lane road due to blockage from the wreck.
During the same time bystanders awaited emergency crews, attention was also paid to the severely-injured party in the smoking Suzuki. Kevin Hemmings, pinned underneath the steering column, waved to good Samaritans for help, while Megan Hemmings had a critically bloodied eye and complained of additional physical pain.
A nearby Sheriff's patroller was first to arrive, followed by a fire truck and ambulance from Leadville/Lake County Fire-Rescue. The Copper Mountain Fire Department also assisted at the scene.
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