A Pagosa Springs man died after being ejected from his pickup truck during a Sunday morning vehicle accident.
Bret Maulsby, 54, of Pagosa Springs, was traveling westbound on U.S. 160 near the former Pagosa Mountain Home Store building on Put Hill between 3 and 4 a.m. when his vehicle left the roadway, according to Pagosa Springs Police Chief Bill Rockensock.
The vehicle, a 2011 Dodge pickup, travelled down the embankment, rolling between three and four times, Rockensock reported.
No signs of evasive measures were found at the scene, indicating that Maulsby was likely unconscious during the accident, Rockensock said.
Maulsby, who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected from the vehicle.
The accident was discovered shortly before 7 a.m. Sunday morning, after the sun provided enough light for a passing motorist to see the truck down the embankment.
The cause of the accident and cause of death were not immediately clear, but a Tuesday autopsy attended by Archuleta County Coroner Carl Macht revealed answers to both questions.
Macht said Maulsby, who suffered from insomnia, was known to have been in a hot tub earlier that morning, and is believed to have fallen asleep while driving.
After being ejected from the vehicle, Maulsby hit his head.
Macht said the autopsy ruled out that Maulsby’s death was heart-related, and also helped differentiate injuries sustained during the accident from those Maulsby sustained during the escape of Clifford Reseigh and Jason Snow from the Archuleta County Detention Center in 2010.
“He was surrounded by friends, not only at his death, but after,” Macht said, noting that six law enforcement officers assisted at the crash scene and many friends have spent time with Maulsby’s family.
Maulsby was a longtime employee of The Springs Resort and served as a correctional officer in the Archuleta County Detention Center.
A benefit account has been set up at 1st Southwest Bank.