Crash claims Gunnison native
'Nic' Garcia remembered for many abilities, uplifting nature
Originally published 2013-09-05
A Gunnison native and current Western State Colorado University student was killed in a single-vehicle accident east of Gunnison this past weekend.
Nicanor, or “Nic,” Garcia was a stand-out, three-sport athlete at Gunnison High School (GHS). He was 20.
Those closest to Garcia remember him for his creativity, fun-loving nature, compassion for others and athletic prowess.
Garcia was traveling alone — believed to be en route to his grandparents’ home in Monte Vista — when the accident occurred at about 4 a.m. Saturday. Based on a reconstruction by Colorado State Patrol (CSP), Garcia’s 1994 Chevrolet pick-up was eastbound on Hwy. 50 when it crossed the centerline on a straight stretch of road east of Doyleville.
The truck crossed the west-bound lane, striking a post, a CSP report indicates. The vehicle then returned to the road, crossing both lanes of travel, at which time it’s believed that Garcia over-corrected, ultimately sending the truck into a roll.
CSP Trooper Darel Reed said that it appears the vehicle rolled at least three times before coming to a rest on its wheels.
Reed said an on-duty Delta County Sheriff’s deputy conducting a transport was the first to arrive at the site of the crash shortly after 4 a.m.
Garcia, who was wearing a seat belt, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Reed said that the scene of the accident spanned 600 feet.
“There was some speed involved but it wasn’t in excess,” he explained. “Anytime you have that long of a scene you either have high speed, or the driver possibly fell asleep. People fall asleep and they don’t react real well until they wake up.”
According to the CSP report, alcohol or drugs are not suspected as being a factor in the crash.
Gunnison County Coroner Frank Vader said that toxicology results are pending. He said Garcia died from trauma.
Garcia had recently begun his junior year at Western, pursuing a degree in business administration with a minor in accounting.
Longtime friend of the family Veronica Marquez, also Nic’s God mother, said Garcia’s decision to stay in Gunnison after high school was to remain close to family — and help with the family business.
Garcia’s parents, Juan and Jackie, have owned Cafe Sylvestre in Gunnison since 1990.
He leaves behind a tight-knit family, including five siblings, ranging in age from 11 to 22.
Nic’s twin brother, Juan, also currently attends Western.
Even recently, Nic was still helping out with the family business — as do all of his siblings living in Gunnison. He also worked at the Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport.
“He was just so smart, so responsible,” said Marquez. “He was just a rock.”
Garcia is remembered by friends and family for both his artistic and athletic abilities.
Marquez said he loved to draw.
Prior to graduating from GHS in 2011, Garcia played basketball, ran track and his senior year was the starting quarterback on the football team.
He planned to help coach GHS’ basketball team this coming season and played Rugby on Western’s club team.
Roommate Austin Searle, a sophomore art major at Western, said Garcia was always able to lighten the mood.
“Anytime you needed cheering up he was the one to go to,” he said. “He always had a smile on his face.”
Searle also remembers his friend for being willing to lend a helping hand.
Garcia was also a great leader, creative in many ways, genuine and funny.
“He was just well-rounded in all ways,” said Searle. “He was one of those people that if nothing made sense, he always seemed to have it together. You can’t capture everything he was in words.”
A funeral service is planned for tomorrow, Sept. 6, at 10 a.m., in Western’s Paul Wright Gymnasium. Current GHS students will be allowed to attend but are required to check out at the main office.
A savings account in memory of Garcia has been established at Gunnison Savings & Loan. Donations can be made in person at the bank, or sent to 303 N. Main St., Gunnison. They can also be made in person at Crested Butte Savings & Loan or sent to 501 Elk Ave., Crested Butte.
(Will Shoemaker can be contacted at 970.641.1414 or firstname.lastname@example.org)