LAFAYETTE — A man and a woman were killed Monday morning when the 1996 Ford Taurus station wagon in which they were riding slammed into a lamp post at the intersection of U.S. Highway 287 and Arapahoe Road.
The 9:10 a.m. accident killed the 23-year-old driver of the red car and his passenger, neither of whom were wearing seat belts, according to police reports.
The driver of the car was from Westminster, police said. Further information about the driver and his passenger, an older woman, was not released pending notification of family.
Police said the driver appeared to have become distracted, possibly looking at a map, and ran straight into the metal post holding up traffic lights.
The car was traveling south on U.S. 287 when it entered the intersection, crossed Arapahoe, then slammed into the post, according to police.
No other cars were involved in the accident, and only one witness stopped despite heavy traffic at the time, police said.
“As it entered the intersection, the car veered over and hit the pole,” said Cmdr. Rick Bashor, a spokesman for the Lafayette Police Department. “It appears they may have been looking for directions.”
Two Flight for Life air ambulances were initially called to the crash site. One arrived, but paramedics on scene cancelled the second one after it became clear both people were dead.
Bashor said it’s too early to tell how fast the car was traveling when it hit the post. The department’s accident-reconstruction team kept the intersection closed for several hours while the bodies were removed and the scene investigated.
The closure caused miles of traffic backups as drivers detoured onto county roads to bypass the accident. Arapahoe Road is a major east-west corridor between Erie, Lafayette and Boulder.
“It was longer than we would have hoped, but we were doing a technical accident reconstruction and needed to do laser measurements of the entire intersection in order to reconstruct it,” Bashor said.
Trevor Hughes can be reached at 303-684-5220, or by e-mail at