Teacher dies in Monday crash

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CENTER — Center resident Gerald Thomas Archuleta, 32, a sixth grade teacher and coach with the South Conejos School District, died Monday night in a crash two miles east of Center on Highway 112.

According to the Colorado State Patrol (CSP), a semi truck with a loaded trailer went through a stop sign at County Road 53 and Colorado Highway 112 and ran into the Dodge Dart occupied by Archuleta and his wife Stephanie, who was also injured in the crash.

The Colorado State Patrol responded to the two-vehicle crash on April 10 at 8:35 p.m.

CSP investigation at the scene revealed a 2015 Kenworth semi truck with loaded trailer was southbound on Saguache County Road 53. The Kenworth failed to yield right of way at the stop sign at the intersection of County Road 53 and Colorado Highway 112, according to CSP. A Dodge Dart was westbound on Colorado Highway 112. The front of the Kenworth collided with the right side of the Dodge. The Kenworth then collided with a utility pole and rolled one-quarter time onto its left side coming to rest facing south. The Dodge rotated 180 degrees, traveled off the south side of the road, and came to rest on its wheels facing east in a ditch.

The driver of the Kenworth was identified as Barker Gwyn Jackson, 61, of Warrensville, North Carolina. He was transported to San Luis Valley Regional Medical Center with moderate injuries.

The driver of the Dodge was identified as Stephanie Dawn Archuleta, 32, of Center. She was transported to Rio Grande Hospital with moderate injuries. The passenger in the Dodge was identified as Gerald Thomas Archuleta, 32, of Center. He was pronounced dead at the Rio Grande Hospital.

Alcohol is not believed to be a contributing factor in the crash. Seatbelts were in use by all involved. Speed is not believed to be a factor. The crash remains under investigation.

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