20-year-old Colorado driver killed by rock thrown through windshield; 1 of 5 similar incidents

GOLDEN, Colo. (AP) — A 20-year-old Colorado woman died late Wednesday night after she was struck by a rock that investigators say was thrown through her windshield by someone who did the same thing to several other vehicles over a two-hour span.

Alexa Bartell of Arvada was talking on the phone with a friend while driving when she was hit by the rock, said Karlyn Tilley, a spokeswoman for the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. After the call went silent, the friend tracked Bartell’s location with a phone app and found the woman dead in her car, which had crashed into a field.

Tilley said Bartell was killed by the rock and not the crash.

Investigators believe the attack is linked to five other similar incidents reported in the area northwest of Denver late Wednesday night and early Thursday morning. The attacks started just after 10 p.m. Wednesday and involved at least five vehicles. In addition to Bartell’s death, two drivers suffered minor injuries.

Tilley said the rocks were either thrown from a vehicle or the roadway. Each was between 4 and 6 inches in diameter and weighed 3 to 5 pounds.

Authorities are looking for the suspect or suspects, who might be driving a light-colored, lifted Dodge Ram pickup with an aftermarket hood. No other information was released.