Driver Killed by Large Rock Thrown at Windshield in ‘Tragic’ Crime Spree

A 20-year-old driver was killed near Denver, Colorado, Wednesday night after being struck by a rock that was thrown through her windshield.

At around 10:45 p.m. MDT, 20-year-old Alexa Bartell of Arvada, Colorado, was driving in Jefferson County when a large rock was hurled at her windshield, according to a press release from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO). Law enforcement said someone could have thrown the rock from a vehicle or from the side of the road. Police are still searching for suspects.

“In the moments before she was killed, Alexa was on her phone talking to a friend when the phone went silent,” read the release. “Alexa’s friend tracked her phone and drove to [her location]. She found Alexa fatally wounded inside her car, which was off the roadway in a field.”

A truck potentially tied to the killing of a 20-year-old is shown, shared from a Facebook post of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office in Colorado. Alexa Bartell, inset, is pictured. Bartell was killed Wednesday night when a large rock was thrown through her windshield.
Courtesy of Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office

Karlyn Tilley, spokeswoman for JCSO, told the Associated Press (AP) that Bartell was killed by the rock, not from crashing her vehicle.

Officers said Bartell’s death may be a part of an “overnight crime series,” listing four other instances where rocks were thrown at vehicles between Wednesday night and early Thursday morning. Two other drivers suffered minor injuries from rocks crashing through their windshields, while another rock caused damage to the body of a vehicle. One driver was not injured by a rock that was thrown through their windshield.

Tilley told AP that the rocks were 4 to 6 inches in diameter and weighed 3 to 5 pounds.

All five incidents occurred throughout Jefferson and Boulder counties, JCSO said in an update on its Facebook page, adding that Bartell’s death was “the most tragic” of the cases.

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Law enforcement said the suspects could be connected to a light-colored Dodge Ram pickup truck and shared pictures of the vehicle to JCSO’s Facebook page.

Investigators are asking for the public’s help in finding the suspects.

JCSO noted in its release that Bartell’s family is asking for privacy at this time.

Newsweek has reached out to the JCSO public information team via email for comment.

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