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CONIFER, Colo. — The suspected drunken driver in a fatal crash on U.S. 285 last week had three prior drinking and driving convictions on his record – and had two high-speed run-ins with law enforcement earlier in August, 9Wants to Know has learned.
Trooper Josh Lewis of Colorado State Patrol (CSP) identified the man as Benjamin Bobier, 36, of Colorado Springs.
Bobier was at the wheel of a Dodge Ram, traveling south between Pine Junction and Conifer, when he tried to pass another car last Thursday and crashed head-on into a Ford pickup, killing a 55-year-old woman and a two-year-old girl. Authorities have not publicly identified the woman or child.
Bobier also died in the crash.
CSP Master Trooper Gary Cutler told 9NEWS that troopers are investigating alcohol and speed as factors into the crash.
Witnesses have told troopers they saw the Dodge driving erratically before the crash happened, Cutler said.
At the time of last Thursday’s crash, Bobier was free on bail after twice being accused of eluding police, speeding more than 40 miles an hour over the limit, and reckless driving – once in Park County, once in Teller County, according to online court records.
According to court records, Park County sheriff’s deputies charged him with vehicular eluding, reckless driving, speeding 40 mph or more over the limit, and failing to report an accident after an incident on Aug. 6.
Two days later, deputies in Teller County charged him with vehicular eluding, reckless driving, speeding 40 mph or more over the limit, passing where prohibited, and failing to obey a traffic control device.
According to court records, he was freed a day later after posting $2,000 bail.
He was due in court in the Park County case Aug. 23 but didn’t show, according to court records.
The fatal crash occurred three days later.
Court records also show that Bobier was convicted of driving while under the influence of alcohol after an incident in Colorado Springs in October 2004 when he was 19. He was also convicted of driving while his ability was impaired by alcohol in 2007 in Colorado Springs and of DUI in 2013 in El Paso County.
In addition to the two people who died, two others were in the Ford pickup that Bobier smashed into – a 35-year-old woman and a 31-year-old man, all from Englewood.
Two people were inside the Dodge at the time of the crash, Bobier and a 68-year-old woman from Colorado Springs. Both were transported to the hospital.
None of the adults in the Ford were wearing seatbelts, Cutler said. The child was restrained in a child car seat, he added.
Initial information stated that there was a second child unaccounted for at the scene. Troopers have found no evidence that there was ever a second child involved in the crash, according to Cutler.
Contact 9Wants to Know investigator Kevin Vaughan with tips about this or any story: [email protected] or 303-871-1862.
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