A Clarence native and his daughter were killed in a crash Thanksgiving Day in Colorado, when the driver of a vehicle who was fleeing from police struck several cars, authorities in Colorado said.
Killed were John “Rick” Nees, 55, who grew up in Clarence and most recently lived in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he was a math teacher, and Nees daughter, Nicole Nees, 38, of Fort Collins.
Fort Collins police said in a statement that at about 3:35 a.m. Thursday, they received a report of a burglary alarm at a pawn shop. They discovered that a vehicle had driven through the store and that firearms were taken from the shop. Then at about 9:46 a.m., police received a report about a suspicious vehicle with firearms inside. When officers approached the vehicle, the driver fled. Police said the officers didnt pursue the vehicle “in the interest of public safety.” The same vehicle was then involved in a multi-car crash that left Nees and his daughter dead.
The driver who is suspected of hitting their vehicle, Marcos Orozco, 19, was charged on burglary, vehicular eluding, aggravated motor vehicle theft and violation of bail bond conditions.
FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) – Officials in north-central Colorado have released the names of two people who were killed when their vehicle was struck by a stolen vehicle in Fort Collins.
Police said there were “multiple fatalities” in a crash near the intersection of Harmony Rd. and Boardwalk Drive that happened Thursday morning.
John Nees, 55, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Nicole Nees, 38, of Fort Collins, were killed on impact following the crash, according to the Larimer County Coroner.
Iowa man, daughter killed in Fort Collins crash on Thanksgiving
Fort Collins police spokesperson Brandon Barnes said in a video posted to the department’s Twitter account that the crash involved a suspicious vehicle officers had been called to check out nearby not long beforehand.
Investigators said they believe Nees and his daughter were struck by a man in a stolen truck who had used it to rob a pawn shop Thursday morning. Authorities arrested the trucks driver 19-year-old Marcos Orozco. He faces a bunch of charges including burglary, theft and eluding. Additional charges are pending.
Video: Math teacher from Iowa and his daughter killed in Ft. Collins crash on Thanksgiving
Barnes said officers were called about the suspicious vehicle that was near the intersection of Arctic Fox Drive and Caribou Drive Thursday morning — near English Ranch Park. But when the officers arrived, the vehicle fled the scene. Barnes said officers did not pursue it.
Shortly afterward, around 10:30 a.m., the vehicle was involved in the crash that killed the Nees. Barnes said the driver of the suspect vehicle was taken into police custody.
Photos from the scene show a car and a pickup truck were involved in the crash and that another flatbed pickup had run into a nearby building.
Dallas Schleining told Denver7 it was hit flatbed truck that was the "suspicious vehicle" involved in the crash and said it was stolen from his cattle feed lot near Ault sometime Wednesday night or early Thursday morning.
That information was confirmed by investigators, who said Friday the truck was stolen from Weld County.
"My wife actually parked it there last night about 4 o'clock and I was there at 5:30 this morning and I don't think it happened after that, so sometime between those hours it must've gone missing," Schleining said.
"I wasn't really sure what to expect. the officer told me the pickup was probably totaled but I expected it to look worse than it did," Schleining said.
"I'm not really sure. I'm curious about who stole the vehicle … It was obviously sitting there. We're a pretty good-sized operation and just to have something like that going missing puts a lot of questions in my mind, for sure," he said.
Truck involved in deadly Ft. Collins accident appears to be the same vehicle used in a pawn shop smash-and-grab. Here's photos from both incidents. Three rifles were stolen from pawn shop. pic.twitter.com/1ssm3zTPbg
On Friday, police confirmed the stolen truck was the same one involved in a smash-and-grab gun robbery that happened at a Fort Collins pawn shop around 3:30 a.m., after firearms inside the truck matched the ones stolen during the burglary.