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Automobile Crash resulting in two deaths



Salida, Colorado


September 10, 2017

On September 8, 2017 the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Communications Center received a call of an automobile crash within the boundaries of the Buena Vista Regional Airport.

Officers responded from the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office, the Buena Vista Police Department and the Colorado State Patrol. Upon arrival officers found wreckage approximately 650 feet of the south end of the runway.

Chaffee County EMS Personnel administered first aid to the two passengers in the vehicle, however both were pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigation of the incident revealed that the passengers were test driving a 2016 Dodge Challenger Hellcat and had permission by airport personnel to do so. The vehicle was driven by Lynd L Fitzgerald, age 71, from Colorado Springs, Colorado and the passenger was Roger Lichtenberger, age 76, from San Marcos, California. The vehicle travelled southbound on the runway at a high rate of speed. The vehicle continued off of the runway for another 314 feet and then became airborne over a ravine before striking the ground. The vehicle became airborne a second time flipping end over end over a second ravine before coming to rest on its wheels.

The Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office investigated the incident with the assistance of the Colorado State Patrol.