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Report Says James Crown Fatal Crash Occurred as Brakes Locked

by  on  Car Accidents & Motor Vehicle Collisions

The death of a well-known businessman at a racetrack in Colorado may have been caused by locking brakes, according to a recent report.

James Crown was killed in a June 25 accident at the Aspen Motorsports Park in Woody Creek. A racetrack employee says the brakes locked up on the car that Crown was driving as he skidded into a curve and slammed into a barricade.

“The day of the crash, Crown was driving a Spec Racer with Toyota MR-2 engine rated at 165 horsepower, according to Matthew Kennedy, a racetrack employee and driving instructor interviewed by investigators,” Judith Kohler writes for The Denver Post.

“Crown locked up the car’s brakes on the last straightaway, skidded into the curve, ran through a gravel bed and hit the barricade of tires, dislodging the concrete barrier underneath, Kennedy said,” the Denver Post report continues.

The 70-year-old Crown was a Chicago-based businessman who reportedly resided part-time in Pitkin County. He ran a business founded by his grandfather – Henry Crown and Co. – which owns the Aspen Skiing Co. He also served as an official at several companies, including General Dynamics, Sara Lee and JPMorgan Chase.

During the Obama administration, Crown was appointed to the president’s Intelligence Advisory Board, an independent group that advises the president on the effectiveness and goals of U.S. intelligence agencies.

He was celebrating his birthday at the time of the accident, according to the Post. Crown was surrounded by family members at the track.

“Crown’s son-in-law, Matthew McKinney, told investigators that he drove the car Crown was in earlier in the day and that it handled normally, although the brakes were stiff and had to be pressed firmly,” Kohler writes.

Crown was later pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.

Legal Rights for People Injured in Colorado Car Crashes

Car accidents can and do happen in Colorado every day. As Crown’s tragic death shows, crashes can occur in a wide variety of situations. They can also happen to anyone, no matter how wealthy and powerful the person.

More than 750 people were killed in traffic accidents across the state last year, according to data compiled by the Colorado Department of Transportation. That was the highest total of traffic fatalities in more than four decades and a 57% jump over the last 10 years.

This is not to mention the thousands of people injured in crashes statewide every year. Car, truck, motorcycle and other collisions can cause a wide range of serious and even life-changing injuries.

Fortunately, there is some good news. Anyone who is injured in a Colorado car accident has the right to seek compensation from those responsible for the crash. 

That often is a negligent driver and his or her insurer. Drivers are obligated under state law to operate their vehicles in a reasonably safe manner and to refrain from dangerous behavior like speeding, drinking and driving or texting behind the wheel. They are also expected to stay off the road if they are drowsy or fatigued.

Others who may be liable for a collision include third parties like defective vehicle parts manufacturers and road construction crews that create hazards. In situations in which a car’s brakes daily to work properly at the time of a collision, for instance, the manufacturer may ultimately be liable.

The monetary damages typically at play in Colorado car accident cases are intended to help injured people get back in the financial position that they were in before the crashes. Compensation for medical bills, car damage and missed wages are all on the table. So is additional compensation for the impact of the injuries on a person’s long-term ability to earn a living.

It is important to understand that people who participate in certain inherently dangerous activities, like rock climbing, skiing or car racing, may be found to have “assumed the risk” in certain situations. It is important to consult an experienced personal injury attorney.

Wrongful Death Claims Stemming From Car Crashes

In a tragic situation in which a person dies in a car accident, his or her loved ones can seek similar compensation through a wrongful death claim.

The money damages available in Colorado wrongful death cases are designed to compensate family members for the financial impact of losing a loved one. That includes money for medical and burial costs as well as the loss of the person’s financial and emotional support.

Make no mistake: There is no amount of money that will ever allow you to turn back time and stop an accident from happening. A wrongful death action can, however, help ease the financial strain that often comes with the loss of a loved one. It can also provide a certain level of closure by getting justice and ensuring that those responsible are made accountable for their actions.

State law limits who can pursue a wrongful death case to spouses, children and parents. In the event that a person dies without a spouse, child or parent, the personal representative of his or her estate can sue for wrongful death.

In order to successfully pursue a wrongful death claim you have to be able to prove that a driver or other party is legally liable for your loved one’s death. 

You do not need to go it alone. 

An experienced accident attorney can help you identify those responsible for the crash, prove legal liability and maximize your compensation. In many situations, this can happen without a long and drawn-out court battle. 

Speak with a Denver Car Accident Lawyer 

If you or a loved one has been injured in a hit and run or other crash in Colorado, a Denver car accident lawyer at Levine Law can help you take action. Our attorneys combine decades of experience and a strong track record of success in the courtroom and through negotiated settlements.

We are pleased to serve clients throughout Colorado, including in Denver, Colorado Springs, Ft. Collins and Loveland. Call us at 303-333-8000 or contact us online to speak with a Denver car accident lawyer.