GREELEY, Colo. – The victim in a deadly Greeley crash, which is now being investigated as a homicide, has been identified by the Weld County Coroner.
Alberto Ruiz, 33, of Greeley, was killed in a single-vehicle crash late Tuesday morning. The manner and cause of his death remain under investigation, Weld County Coroner Carl A Blesch said Wednesday evening.
Officers believe the crash may actually be a road rage homicide following witness reports of what happened prior to the crash.
Witnesses told police they saw an altercation between two pickups just after 11 a.m. Tuesday near 3029 29th Street, and that they had heard an explosion before Ruiz’s truck crashed into a retaining wall. They added that they had also seen a small Chevrolet S-10 leaving the area at high speeds at the same time.
"The injuries on the male that was deceased on scene raised suspicions. They were not consistent with the traffic accident," said Lt. Adam Turk with the Greeley Police Department.
The Greeley Police Department says the pickup seen leaving the scene is a tan/gold 1998-2002 model Chevrolet S-10 ZR2 with black fender flares.
A devoted father who meant a lot to a lot of people
An employee at Estes Valley Asphalt identified Ruiz as the man killed in the crash.
"He was a devoted father of two young children, and he didn't deserve this," said Yvonne Munoz, a family friend who came to pay her respects at a memorial set up at the crash site. "He means a lot to a lot of people."
Friends say the victim had been in the area working on a construction job.
"It doesn’t seem real. Like one minute he’s working and the next minute he’s gone," said Roy Varela, a good friend of the victim. "We were just with him on Easter. We had a BBQ at the park. Everything was fine. And then this — everything happened so fast."
Across the street, an employee at the Harley Davidson dealership said surveillance video did not capture the entire incident, but showed someone getting out of what appeared to be the suspect's car and then getting back into it.
The police department asks anyone with more information about the incident to call them at (970) 350-9600.