The Denver Post - Saturday, December 27, 1997
Wrecks before holiday kill 4 Christmas period saw no fatalities
Author: Jim Hughes Denver Post Staff Writer
Four Coloradans died in automobile accidents Wednesday afternoon, but there were no fatal crashes in Colorado during the 30 hours the state officially counted as the Christmas holiday, according to the Colorado State Patrol.
The Christmas holiday started at 6 p.m. Christmas Eve and ended at midnight Christmas Day, state patrol Sgt. Anthony Padilla said. When a holiday falls on a Friday or a weekend, the patrol considers that whole weekend to be the holiday period, he said.
"It was a 30-hour holiday period this year, like it was last year, and we had two fatalities in that time last year," he said. "This year, we're showing zero."
However, snow squalls that froze area roads Wednesday afternoon did cause three accidents that took the lives of four people before the holiday officially started.
One driver, Theodore Southerland, 36, of Brighton, was advised of his rights Friday morning on charges of vehicular homicide and vehicular assault in an accident about 5 p.m. Wednesday in Adams County.
Southerland allegedly tried to pass another car while driving northbound on Sable Boulevard south of Brighton. As he did so, he lost control, spinning into southbound traffic, police said. His passenger, Tina Murway , 36, also of Brighton, died when Southerland collided with a southbound vehicle driven by Andrea Cifor, 34, who suffered a broken leg.
Southerland will be arraigned in Adams County Court on Tuesday.