Friends and family are mourning the loss of an 18–year–old girl killed in a crash on I–70. 11 News has learned she was pulled over and released just minutes before the accident and troopers say she had been drinking.
The Colorado State Patrol has just released the name of the victim, 18–year–old Samantha Loy.
Troopers say she had been drinking, texting, driving and not wearing a seatbelt when she rolled her car on I–70 and was thrown from the vehicle.
Friends and family want to know why a Fruita police officer didn't notice Samantha Loy had been drinking when he pulled her over for speeding less than a half an hour before she rolled her car.
The Chief of Fruita Police says if the officer had noticed any sign of intoxication he would never have let her go.
A cross, flowers and teddy bears line the side of I–70 near Fruita.
19–year–old Delaina Marshall and two of Samantha Loy's friends were at the memorial on Monday afternoon and in shock to find out there friend is gone.
"I was sad, I was mad and I was confused," Marshall told 11 News on Monday.
She says Samantha was the all American girl--cheerleader, pageant contestant and Mesa State student.
"She was so nice to everybody, really outgoing and friendly."
But Marshall said on the weekends, the 18–year–old liked to party and that may have been what killed her.
"It's unfortunate it really is," said Marshall.
State Patrol says Loy had been drinking and using her cell phone while she was driving East on the interstate Sunday morning.
Just after 1:20am investigators say she flipped her car and was thrown out of the window.
The Mesa County Coroner pronounced her dead on scene.
According to dispatch reports, just minutes before at 1:00am, a Fruita Police officer had pulled her over for speeding on Highway six and 50 but the officer let her go with a warning.
Chief Mark Angelo says his officer did everything according to his training.
"It's an unfortunate set of circumstances that the contact that this officer had with this female was brief and there were no signs she was under the influence," Chief Angelo told 11 News on Monday.
Angelo says the officer is seasoned and committed to keeping the community safe and the signs aren't always there that someone has been drinking.
"We miss people. You may not see it and something like this could happen. As a result you're gonna second guess yourself," said Angelo.
He says there won't be any further investigation.
And even though friends are learning more about what happened, they say all the answers about how the crash happened won't answer the question of why their friend was taken.
"She didn't deserve this at all," Marshall told 11 News.
The Mesa County Coroner is still doing toxicology testing.
The Colorado State Patrol says it will take seven days to finish the full crash report.