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Father, two children claimed by crash near Buena Vista

Posted: Thursday, May 12th, 2011

BUENA VISTA — Three people died and three more were seriously injured as the result of a head-on crash last Wednesday afternoon on U.S. 24.

Colorado State Patrol (CSP) reports said that Noah John Van Bibber, 56, of Littleton, and his 14-year-old son, Caleb, were pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, which took place at about 4:18 p.m. May 4 about three miles east of Johnson Village on Trout Creek Pass.

Jessa Van Bibber, 8, was in a coma and flown to Children’s Hospital in Denver, where she died Sunday.

A brother, Jacob, 19, was flown to St. Anthony Central Hospital in Denver with serious head and facial injuries.

Wife and mother Christina Van Bibber, 50, suffered serious bodily injuries and was taken to Heart of The Rockies Medical Center in Salida.

The family was headed to Monte Vista for the funeral of Noah John’s sister, Trixie Blackmon, who died April 29 following a long battle with breast cancer. Her Rosary was at 7 p.m. Wednesday and the funeral was at 10 a.m. Thursday.

According to the state patrol, VanBibber was driving a 2002 Mitsubishi Galant SUV westbound when it went into the eastbound lane and collided head-on with a 1999 Ford Ranger pickup truck driven by Lamont Moorman, 57, of Longmont.

Moorman was alone in his vehicle, which went off the right side of the roadway and rolled once down an embankment before coming to rest on its top. He suffered fractured vertebrae, a broken foot and lacerations and was taken to the Salida Hospital.

The SUV came to rest in the roadway facing eastbound, blocking the heavily traveled highway for several hours as on-scene investigation took place.

Investigation continues into seat belt use in the Van Bibber vehicle, while it is known that Moorman had his safety belts fastened.

 Alcohol and speed were ruled out as factors and the CSP troopers are investigating whether VanBibber fell asleep behind the wheel. He was a neo-natal nurse practitioner at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Denver.

Funeral arrangements for Noah, Caleb and Jessa Van Bibber are in the care of Rogers Family Mortuary in Monte Vista.

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