A trooper and a hero


Colorado State Patrol Trooper Scott Fenwick’s actions on Monday were nothing less than heroic.

Fenwick was patrolling on Wolf Creek Pass when he noticed a motor home having difficulties with overheated brakes as it descended the west side of the mountain.

With an active CDOT construction zone at the base of the pass, Fenwick’s quick thinking and fast action in heroically pursuing the runaway vehicle with his patrol car lights and siren activated to warn nearby construction workers of the imminent danger undoubtedly saved lives that day.

The out-of-control motor home was careening toward a construction zone that was in its path. The construction zone was restricted to just a single lane of traffic.

While the accident is still under investigation, from the facts we currently know, driver Joseph Guarino was unable to stop his motor home even though he successfully navigated “both the upper switchback curve within the active construction zone at the milepost 160 scenic overlook, and the lower switchback curve at milepost 159.” The vehicle was weaving and its brakes were smoking as Guarino attempted to control the motor home and maneuver it down the pass.

Thanks to Fenwick’s and Guarino’s efforts, no construction personnel were injured in the incident and the two individuals who were transported for medical care did not receive life-threatening injuries.

Tragically, Guarino lost his life in the incident.

Master Trooper Doug Wiersma shared his thoughts with The SUN Wednesday morning: “The fact that Scott was able to so quickly identify a vehicle that was having difficulty, and then to both communicate with the driver in transit, and then alert the construction crews with his lights and siren of the approaching danger is pretty remarkable. His awareness of the situation as it was developing and his quick thinking undoubtedly prevented even more tragedy.”

We commend Fenwick for his courage, quick thinking and heroism in averting an even bigger disaster and greater loss of life.

Terri Lynn Oldham House

Be alert: It’s back-to-school time

Summer vacation is coming to an end.

It’s back-to-school time Tuesday.

And with that comes a wake-up call for area drivers: Pay attention. Be alert. Slow down.

You are going to notice a huge change in traffic around Pagosa Country come Tuesday morning. Expect traffic to be heavier in the mornings and afternoons. Watch closely for pedestrians. Always expect the unexpected. Also, be sure to watch for those yellow school buses.

If you have school-aged children, we encourage you to also take the time to remind them about safety while waiting for the bus, crossing the street or walking to school.

A bit of caution could make a huge difference. If it takes you a couple more minutes to get where you are going — it’s definitely worth it.

We want everyone to get where they are going safely.

Terri Lynn Oldham House