Driver in fatal crash identified

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Police suspect medical emergency caused accident

By The Staff

      BRIGHTON - Police have released the name of a 57-year-old man killed in an accident Dec. 14 near Interstate 76 and Bromley Lane.
      Police say James Edward Hefner, of Hudson, was driving a blue Chevrolet pickup about 5 p.m. in the eastbound lane of I-76 between Bromley Lane and Bridge Street when the vehicle crossed over the center median and into oncoming westbound traffic. Hefner's vehicle struck a westbound tanker, which was carrying crude oil, head-on. The force of impact pushed the truck's engine back beyond the back seat


     Hefner was taken from the scene by medical helicopter and later died of his injuries. Brighton police spokesman John Bradley said investigators have found indications that a medical emergency may have caused Hefner's vehicle to cross over the median.
     The tanker stayed upright and crossed the median before losing one of its two trailers, each of which was carrying 80 barrels of oil. Bradley said the trailer flipped over and spilled part of its load. Crews sopped up the diesel fuel on the highway and in the median and uprighted the trailer. All lanes of the freeway were reopened by 10 p.m.
      No other cars were involved. The driver of the semi, Steven Bourassa, 35, of Greeley,  sustained minor injuries.