By Cara Pallone
The driver involved in a fatal crash near Telluride is facing vehicular homicide charges.
Will Moran-Sosa, age 34, of Telluride, was allegedly under the influence when the vehicle he was driving crashed at milepost 68 on Highway 145.
The accident took place at just before 5 p.m. on Monday, April 29. According to Colorado State Patrol, the Chevy Trailblazer was headed eastbound went off the right side of the road, and rolled one time.
Moran-Sosa was wearing his seat belt and walked away with minor scratches. The passenger, however, Mario Texocotitla was not restrained and was partially ejected from the vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene, despite resuscitation efforts by Telluride EMS.
Mario, who has also been identified by the names Mario Lira and Mario Autencio, was 42 years old.
Colorado State Patrol is investigating the crash. Moran-Sosa also faces charges of DUI and careless driving. He was arrested and taken to San Miguel County Jail, and has since bonded out.
Meanwhile, those who knew Mario are mourning the loss of a man they say enjoyed riding his motorcycle, worked incredibly hard, was always smiling and had a penchant for traditional Mexican dishes such as chilaquiles and homemade mole. He particularly loved Telluride, where he decided to make his home about a decade or so ago.
He worked at a number of restaurants during his time here, including Allred’s, La Marmotte, and Smugglers, where he was presently employed as a grill cook.
Josh Klein, owner, says Mario worked at Smugglers for about the past six years.
“One of the resounding qualities about Mario was that whatever was going on in his personal life, he never brought it to work...”
Coworker Viktoria Navarro says he was well liked by everyone.
“He was a noble person. Authentic...”
Mario, who lived at Shandoka Apartments, was originally from Central Mexico, where his family still lives. He wanted to visit them, but Navarro says his legal status prevented him from doing so. He was in the final process of obtaining his Green Card.
“He was just going through the final steps...”
A friend has started a fundraising page to help get Mario’s remains back to his family in Mexico. Those who would like to contribute can access the page here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/jtauw2-bring-mario-home