The Association of U S West Retirees



Family of Qwest exec killed on turkey hunt files lawsuit
By Associated Press
Rocky Mountain News
Friday, July 14, 2006

The family of a Qwest executive killed while turkey hunting filed a lawsuit Thursday against the ranch that hired and gave a rifle to the suspect, an illegal immigrant who fled to Mexico after the shooting.  Jeffrey R. Garrett, 37, of Aurora, was killed May 14, 2005, while hunting on federal Bureau of Land Management land.

According to the suit, Oscar Hoyos DeLaCruz, 50, was working on the Bear Wallow Ranch in Garfield County next to the BLM land when he fired a .22-caliber rifle at what he thought was a turkey.

The shot struck Garrett, an assistant vice president for Denver-based Qwest Communications International Inc.

DeLaCruz was arrested last month in Mexico and will be prosecuted there, facing up to 24 years in prison.

Representatives of Bear Wallow Ranch did not immediately return an after-business-hours message left Thursday night.

Garrett's wife, Charlotte, sued DeLaCruz and the Georgia-based ranch owner, Land West Ventures Inc., on behalf of herself and Garrett's two children, Olivia, 4, and Adam, 2.

The suit claims Land West Ventures was negligent in hiring DeLaCruz and in giving him a rifle.  The suit also claims Land West employees knew DeLaCruz fled the county after the shooting and did not alert investigators.,1299,DRMN_15_4843918,00.html