Criminal Charges for Driver in Double Fatality Near Rifle

Rifle—The man behind the wheel in last week’s deadly rollover crash north of Rifle that claimed the lives of two local men is facing criminal charges.  40 year old Cody Christopher made his first appearance in Garfield County court yesterday where he was formally charged with two counts of vehicular homicide, assault and DUI.  36 year old Matthew Smith of Rifle and 41 year old Trent Johnson of Glenwood Springs were both killed in the accident around midnight last Friday on County Road 219 just north of the Rifle Correctional Facility.    According to reports from the Colorado State Patrol, no one was wearing a seatbelt.  10 year old Rylan Johnson, the son of Trent Johnson, was seriously injured and taken to a hospital in Denver but is expected to be released soon.  Christopher was treated at Grand River Hospital before being arrested and taken to jail. Troopers investigating the accident say Johnson and Smith were ejected from the Ford Excursion when it went over an embankment and rolled twice.  They were pronounced dead at the scene by Garfield County Coroner Robert Glassmire.  Authorities say they found several opened and unopened beer cans in and around the wrecked SUV.  Meanwhile, a Go Fund Me page has been set up to help the Johnson and Smith families deal with funeral and medical expenses. Johnson’s 16 year old daughter Baylee is a student-athlete at Glenwood Springs High School and one of the leaders of Demons volleyball team. So far, over $10,000.00 has been raised for the families.  Cody Christopher managed to post his $50,000.00 bail and will return to court January 10th.