Michael Patrick Dolan, 36, of Snowmass Village, was killed Thursday night in a one-car accident on Brush Creek Road.
Authorities are investigating the possibility that Dolan, a diabetic, suffered from a “hypoglycemic event,” or an abnormal decrease in blood sugar level, which caused him to pass out at the wheel, according to Trooper Jess Robinson of the Colorado State Patrol. He said alcohol or drugs do not appear to have been factors in the crash.
“This is not the first crash of this kind that I’ve covered with diabetics,” he added.
Pitkin County Sheriff’s deputies and the State Patrol were called to the accident site about 8:15 a.m. Friday. They found Dolan’s body in the vehicle, according to a press release from Pitkin County Sheriff’s Deputy Ellen Anderson and county Coroner Tom Walsh.
Trooper Rich Duran said Friday that authorities aren’t sure exactly what time the accident occurred. He said Snowmass Stables employees speculated it might have happened between 10:30 and 11 p.m. on Thursday because, they told investigators, the horses seemed “spooked” at that time.
Trooper Robinson said Dolan’s 1987 Toyota pickup truck was northbound on Brush Creek Road at the time of the accident.
“[Dolan] drove off the right side of the road and brushed the guard rail, and then traveled two or three hundred feet until he went off the left side of the road where he hit a ditch, which put the vehicle back on course,” Robinson said. “Then he went off the right side and into the post and off the embankment.
“It looks as though there wasn’t much input, in terms of driver control of the vehicle, from the get-go,” Robinson added. “It looks like he kind of fell asleep: He might have been unconscious throughout the whole event.”
The truck was airborne for some distance before striking the ground with its front end and rolling onto its top. Upon impact, Dolan was partially ejected from the vehicle. He was not wearing a seat belt, authorities said.
Snowmass Village Police and rescue personnel assisted at the accident site Friday morning.
A service for Dolan is planned Tuesday. See his obituary on page 4 for details.