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Nov 7, 2012 3:06 AM by Andy Koen

Suspected drunk driver arrested in deadly accident east of Canon City

FREMONT COUNTY - Colorado State Troopers suspect a 54-year-old Penrose man had been drinking before he crashed into a minivan carrying a family from Los Angeles Tuesday.

The accident happened at around 10:11 a.m. along County Road 123 at the intersection with County Road 67 inbetween Canon City and Penrose.

According to Trooper Eric Zachareas, 56-year-old Rachel Witmer was headed west on CR 123 in her Kia Sedona was she was hit in the driver's side by a Dodge Ram driven by Bennie Thorson.

The force of the collision sent Whitmer's van off of the roadway and into a nearby field. She was flown to a hospital in Colorado Springs where she later died as a result of her injuries.

Her passengers, 19-year-old Kristi Witmer and 16-year-old Christopher Witmer, were also injured in the crash and were taken to a local hospital for treatment.

Thorson was also injured and was later jailed on suspicion of driving under the influence.

Zachareas notes that Thorson's actions are not considered to be the cause of the accident which remains under investigation.

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