Twenty-Year-Old Male Driver Killed in One of Five Rock-related Traffic Deaths

Alexa Bartell was traveling on Wednesday night when her phone call with a friend ended abruptly. A friend of Bartell’s who was worried about her whereabouts followed the signal from her phone to a field in Jefferson County, Colorado, where she discovered Bartell’s battered yellow Chevy Spark.

A large rock had smashed through the windshield, striking and killing 20-year-old Bartell, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. This was one of at least five such events in Colorado over the course of three hours on Wednesday evening.

“This is the most tragic of a series of similar crimes that happened overnight throughout Jefferson and Boulder counties,” the press release noted about the homicide. No suspects have been located by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office in connection with the crime wave or the homicide.

20-year-old Fatally Struck by Large Rock While Driving
20-year-old Fatally Struck by Large Rock While Driving

There may have been more than five cases, according to the investigators, who have appealed for victims to come forward. At first, police thought the events were linked to a white Dodge Ram pickup truck manufactured between 2003 and 2005, so they put out a public call for help locating the truck’s owners.

However, it was eventually determined that the car’s owner was not “involved in the crime series related to the death of Alexa Bartell,” eliminating that person as a possible suspect. “[Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office] continues to urge anyone with information about the crime to call our tip line at 303-271-5612,” the press release read.

Keep reading for timely coverage of California news and analysis from a local expert:

A rock was thrown through a car’s window in Westminster, Colorado, at around 10 p.m. on Wednesday, according to a chronology supplied by the sheriff’s office. The motorist walked away from the collision unscathed. Another windshield was shattered by a rock about 30 minutes later and 5 miles away, injuring the driver.

A minute later, the same suspects tossed a rock at a Toyota SUV, damaging the vehicle but not injuring the driver. Bartell’s death was the fourth similar occurrence that happened on Wednesday night. Bartell was killed around 10:45 p.m. on Indiana Street, heading north in Jefferson County, Colorado, when a huge boulder smashed her windshield.

About a couple of miles away from where Bartell was killed, in adjacent Arvada, CO, the suspects are said to have hit their final car of the night. The driver of the car was hurt in the previous collision.

In a press release, the sheriff’s office stated, “We believe there may be more victims,” and asked the public to come forward if they had any information or dash cam video from that evening that could shed light on the horrific occurrence.

As a result of crimes that span jurisdictional boundaries in the Denver metro region, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office is coordinating with the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office, the Arvada Police Department, and the Westminster Police Department. As of Thursday night, the Sheriff’s Department had not developed any new leads.

If you want to know California’s best-kept secrets, the California Examiner is the newspaper to read.

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