UPDATE: Aurora man dies after US 85 crash north of Brighton

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FORT LUPTON -- One person died Aug. 24 after a two-car crash on U.S. Highway 85 north of Brighton. It happened around 1 p.m.

The Colorado State Patrol said the victim, Martin Braden, 47, of Aurora, was a tow-truck operator who worked for C&J Auto Service.

CSP Sgt. Mike Baker said the trooper, Scott Rendfrey, was blocking a lane of traffic because of an unrelated crash near U.S. 85 and Weld County Road 6 so the tow-truck driver could clear debris from the road. Baker said a 61-year-old man from Fort Lupton, Dana Beales, was heading south on US 85 when he collided with the rear of the parked patrol car.  After colliding with the squad car, Beal's pick-up truck then struck and killed the tow truck operator.

Rendfrey sustained what Baker called "moerate injuries" and was released from the hospital later in the evening.

Baker said Sunday morning that excessive speed and distracted driving are the focus of the patrol's investigation. The speed limit in the area of the crash is 65 mph, and troopers say Beal may have been going at least that fast. Charges against Beal are pending.

Both lanes of US 85 were closed because of the crash. Northbound traffic was allowed through around 3 p.m., and southbound traffic was flowing freely shortly after 6 p.m.