Updated March 1 at 12 p.m.
Local beer brewer and electrician Chris Jones died Saturday evening (Feb. 24) after his truck rolled over on State Road 150 just southwest of Arroyo Seco.
Members of the Taos County Sheriff’s Office and Taos County Emergency Services responded to the scene of the crash around 6:45 p.m and found Jones’ truck turned over on its side along a tight curve near Piñon Road.
Jones, the only person inside the truck at the time of the crash, was found outside the vehicle, having sustained serious injuries after an apparent ejection. He died shortly after medics transported him to Holy Cross Hospital.
According to a crash investigation conducted by Sgt. Jake Cordova, the truck Jones had been driving appeared to have drifted across the right-hand shoulder of State Road 150 at “moderate speed,” when Jones overcorrected back onto the roadway, evidently causing the rollover and ejection.
Cordova’s report indicated that Jones might not have been wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash, and while the Office of the Medical Investigator will be completing an autopsy and toxicology report, Hogrefe said first responders suspected alcohol to have been a possible factor in the cause of the crash, along with “excessive speed.”
The sheriff’s office notified Jones’ family of his death over the weekend.
This week, many people in the Taos community have come together to remember him, particularly his coworkers and friends at Taos Mesa Brewing.
Jones had worked at the local brewery and events venue as one of the original brewers, creating some of the company’s first beer batches with head brewer Jayson Wylie and co-brewer Max Davis.
“For those of you who did not know Chris, he was a good man and a key component to Taos Mesa Brewing’s success,” Wylie wrote in a public post on the brewery’s Facebook page Tuesday (Feb. 27). “Ever the seeker of knowledge, Chris prided himself on knowing and relating scientific facts, which gained him the honoree title of ‘Mr. Wizard.’ “
In the same post, Davis recalled Jones’ love of being on a ski slope.
“He was without question one of the most skilled and avid skiers I’ve known and had a vast knowledge of the mountains that surround us,” Davis wrote. “He kept a log book of every day he had skied for 16 years, many of those years logging well over 100 days per year on the mountain.”
Jones had lived in Taos County for 23 years and had spent his final years living in Carson, not far from the brewery where he worked.
A memorial service will be held for Jones on Friday (March 2) at Taos Mesa Brewing, according to the brewery’s Facebook page.