Police pursuit ends tragically, two killed north of Penrose

2 killed in head-on crash along Hwy 115

FREMONT COUNTY, Colo. - Two people are dead following a head-on crash on Highway 115 north of Penrose in Fremont County, according to the Colorado State Patrol.

It started around 3:15 Monday morning, when a Florence police officer tried to pull over Timothy VanHeel, 33, of Colorado Springs driving a 1992 Nissan Sentra for a traffic violation, according to Colorado State Patrol Cpt. Rich Smith.

Smith said VanHeel sped away from the traffic stop and a chase began. Florence Deputies took over and chased him through Penrose.

El Paso County deputies were notified and waited with stop sticks at the El Paso County line.

"For some reason he came back at a high rate of speed and passed the Sheriff's that were parked on the side of the road," said Smith. "He then crashed head on into a Canon City resident who was going to work."

The Canon City resident, later identified Daniel Picco, 57, was traveling in a Chevrolet Trailblazer.

Both drivers were going about 85 miles per hour when they hit head-on.

"The man driving the Nissan was not wearing seatbelt and was ejected from the car," said Smith. 

Both men died shortly after the crash.

"A lot of people travel too fast and they don't obey traffic laws, just driving reckless," said Ed Herold, a Florence resident.

The highway was closed while troopers investigated. It reopened around 7 a.m.

Stay with for further updates.

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