Alcohol took its toll over the weekend: Two Wyoming college students died in an apparent drunk-driving crash and a dozen drivers were arrested at sobriety checkpoints, police said Monday.
Expecting the worst after last year's booze-fueled havoc, Fort Collins and CSU police also geared up for weekend riots that never came.
"We were prepared and we will be prepared for several weeks to come," said Fort Collins Police Services Officer Rita Davis.
On Saturday, two men suffered fatal injuries in a violent, high-speed crash near the intersection of College Avenue and Troutman Parkway. Passenger Cameron Haston , 19, died on the scene and Adam Heath , 20, later died at Poudre Valley Hospital .
Haston, a resident of Lenexa, Kans., and Heath, a resident of Granite Hills, Ill., were students at Wyoming Technical Institute in Laramie, Wyo., a coroner's official said.
A Colorado State Patrol officer saw Heath's Subaru WRX speeding southbound on College Avenue at about 10:45 p.m., the state patrol reported. The Subaru sideswiped a sport utility vehicle, ran a red light and hit a second car, veering into two roadside trees, officers said.
The impact ripped the Subaru in half. Occupants of the other cars suffered only minor injuries and were not taken to a hospital. Investigators believe alcohol was involved but a toxicology report was not complete Monday.
FCPS officers set up two sobriety checkpoints Sunday night – one at the intersection of College Avenue and Pitkin Street and another at Lemay Avenue and Elizabeth Street – and screened 4,690 cars, said DUI Enforcement Officer David Kaes.
During the six-hour checkpoint, officers arrested 11 on suspicion of driving drunk and another suspected of being under the influence of drugs. One of the suspects had a stolen gun, Kaes said.
Another checkpoint is slated for September.
The officers said NewWestFest and the regular influx of CSU students crowded the city streets this past weekend.
"We kind of saw an increase in the number of the party crowds," Kaes said. "That's just the philosophy of college, I guess."
Kaes said emergency calls poured in once CSU students returned to the city for the fall semester, but the increase was nothing out of the ordinary.
If a student is having trouble with his or her own party, they can call the police for help in breaking it up, said FCPS Sgt. Mike Trombley. The callers would most likely not be ticketed, he said.
An alternative may have been illustrated last year when out-of-control students took to the streets on the Friday and Saturday before fall classes began.
Rioters tipped over a car, vandalized private and public property and set fire to furniture, branches and signs in the street. Several injuries were reported, mostly cuts and bruises, and seven CSU students were arrested, barring them from attending any Colorado school for a year.
The non-emergency number for Fort Collins Police Services is 221-6540.