Samantha Benavidez's Death in Crash That Killed Three: Witnesses Sought

 Samantha Manzanares Benavidez, 23; Chelsey Gallegos, 25, and Sean Muniz, 22, died in a single-car crash back in August.

So why are Investigators asking for possible witnesses of the incident or the circumstances surrounding it to come forward nearly five months later?

They're not giving specifics — but speculation centers on efforts to prosecute 23-year-old Alex Granillo-Alvarado.

He was the driver of the car and the sole survivor, who allegedly admitted that he'd been drinking prior to the tragedy.

Facebook pages and posts related to the victims continue to linger online. Here's a shot of Chelsey Gallegos.....

...and one featuring Sean Muniz:

According to the First Judicial District DA's office, the crash occurred at between 9:30 and 10 p.m. on August 14 in Conifer.

The route in question: northbound Highway 285 near Turkey Creek Road.

The vehicle: a 2008 silver BMW.

However, the victims weren't immediately found.

The wreckage was reportedly discovered at around 8:05 a.m. the next morning by workers on the property.

Here's a look at what they found.

The arrest affidavit in Granillo-Alvarado's name maintains that he was traveling at speeds of between 85 and 107 miles per hour when he lost control of the BMW.

The posted speed limit in the area: 55.

The car hurdled off the road and down an embankment before it came to rest on its top, and all three passengers were ejected, the DA's office points out.

Afterward, a slew of Facebook tributes to the trio began to be circulated. Here's one example....

...and another.... a third:

As for Granillo-Alvarado, who's been charged with three counts of vehicular homicide, he allegedly told a nurse he'd been drinking.

But due to the passage of time, there's a good chance a lot of the alcohol that might have been in his system had dissipated.

That's likely why prosecutors are seeking witnesses, regardless of whether they've already talked to investigators — to bolster evidence of drinking and driving.

Granillo-Alvarado was held for a considerable stretch on a $50,000 bond, but he posted it in December. He's currently free but is due back in court on February 11.

If you have any information about the incident, you're encouraged to contact DA Investigator Kevin Sagar at 303-271-6800. In the meantime, we send our sincere condolences to the friends, family and loved ones of  Samantha Benavidez, Chelsey Gallegos and Sean Muniz.

Look below to see Granillo-Alvarado's booking photo, followed by a Fox31 report.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts

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