Driver indicted by grand jury on first-degree murder for crash near Longmont

Nov. 20—A man accused of causing a four-vehicle crash that killed two people has been charged with first-degree murder following a grand jury indictment.

Earl Garczynski, 54, has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder, first-degree assault, leaving the scene of an accident, two counts of vehicular homicide, vehicular assault, second-degree assault and tampering with physical evidence.

According to a Boulder County District Attorney's Office release, Colorado State Patrol responded to a four-vehicle crash on U.S. 287 near mile marker 322 on May 19. Garczynski is suspected of driving a Dodge Ram 1500 when he collided with a black Camaro in southbound lanes, causing the Camaro to then cross over the median into northbound lanes. A Toyota Tundra then collided with the Camaro and bicycles on the back of the Camaro fell off and hit a northbound Jeep Cherokee.

The Dodge Ram continued traveling down the highway southbound away from the crash, according to the release.

Both the driver Daniel Wright and the passenger James Jacobson of the Camaro were killed during the incident. The driver of the Tundra, Jeffery Laguna, sustained serious bodily injury which included a right calcaneus fracture in his right foot, the release said.

Garczynski is currently in custody on a bond of $1,000,000 and is set to appear in court on Wednesday for a hearing on advisement.

During the review of video evidence, crash reconstruction and witness interviews, police determined that Garczynski had originally pulled onto the median to initiate an argument with the occupants of the Camaro. Wright then pulled back onto the highway before Garczynski pursued him at approximately 100 miles per hour.

According to the release, witnesses said Garczynski tailgated, break checked, swerved and took swipes at the Camaro eventually forcing it onto the shoulder of the highway. Witnesses then said Garczynski sped up to keep the Camaro from re-entering onto the highway lanes before hitting the Camaro.

During autopsies, a Boulder County coroner investigation found that both Wright and Jacobson had amphetamine, methamphetamine and fentanyl in their blood. Jacobson also had ethanol in his blood. The cause of their deaths was ruled multiple blunt force injuries consistent with motor vehicle crash and the manner of death was ruled a homicide.

"Investigative information is consistent with the driver of another motor vehicle intentionally colliding with the decedent's motor vehicle, leading to the motor vehicle crash and subsequent lethal injuries," Dr. Lingamfelter, who performed the autopsies, said in the release.

The type of car that Garczynski had, his license plate and the damage to his car, were consistent with witness accounts, crash reconstruction and video footage, according to the release.

Initially, Garczynski denied being involved in a crash that day or engaging in road rage. According to the release, he changed his story multiple times before eventually admitting he got out his car to yell at the Camaro occupants, drove with the Camaro and then saw the Camaro come across the front of his vehicle on the highway.

According to the release, a friend of Garczynski, who was on the phone with him during the incident, reported hearing him say, "That mother (expletive) won't do that again."

In an email, the District Attorney Michael Dougherty described the investigation as "intensive."

"As this indictment explains, it is alleged that the defendant took the lives of two people and seriously injured another in an act of road-rage," Dougherty said in the email. "Then, he tried to get away with it and avoid all responsibility."

He continued, "With this indictment, we can now move forward with holding the person who caused this horrific crash fully responsible."