MONTEZUMA CO, COLORADO — An Arizona woman known by friends and family for her philanthropic efforts died in a single-vehicle rollover crash in Colorado. Her boyfriend is charged with driving under the influence at the time of the crash.
Before tragedy struck their family, Alan Granby was dancing with his mom, Mary Murphy, at his early November wedding.
”It was the happiest day of my life other than putting a ring on (the finger) of my wife,” said Granby.
Last week while Granby was out of town, he got a call from his wife, Kelcie.
He said she was hysterical on the phone.
She handed the phone to local police who were at his house in Surprise to say his mother had died in a rollover crash on the rural roads of southwest Colorado.
”I’m still waiting for her to show up at the door, to call me, to text me. And so many others are the same,” said Granby.
The long list of others impacted by Mary’s death includes those she helped with cystic fibrosis. Family says Mary was a pivotal figure in helping raise money for cystic fibrosis organizations. The lung disorder took the life of Mary’s daughter at just 30 years old.
Alan still lives with it today.
”It was not easy on my parents,” said Granby.
Mary was also known for raising thousands of dollars for Hospice of the Valley through an annual fishing tournament.
In 2017, her then-husband was a patient at the care facility before he died from pancreatic cancer.
Years later, family says Mary and former Arizona restaurant owner Scott Chilleen started to date.
A Colorado State Patrol report from last week states Chilleen had been drinking before he, Mary, and a 22-year-old coworker got in his truck and were involved in a rollover crash on Hwy 184 in Montezuma County, Colorado.
The report states Mary was ejected from the truck and found dead by firefighters.
The co-worker sustained severe neck and back injuries. It also states he warned Chilleen that the way he was driving was too fast.
Colorado State Patrol officers report Chilleen was found by police walking in a ditch two miles east of the crash.
”It’s a cowardly move, and I believe he was thinking only about himself,” said Granby.
The Colorado State Patrol report states Chilleen was slurring his words when talking with officers, he hesitated when asked by police how fast he was driving, and he told officers he wasn’t the one driving despite his coworker telling law enforcement otherwise.
Chilleen was charged with several felonies including DUI, failure to remain at the scene of an accident involving death, and vehicular homicide. Montezuma County Sheriff Steve Nowlin says he’s being held on a $100,000 bond and that includes an order to keep him from driving if he bonds out.
Family is still working out details for a memorial but they have set up a crowdfunding account to help pay for funeral expenses.
Mary’s impact felt well beyond those she’s related to.
“Just the most amazing person in the world,” said Granby.
A Justice for Mary Facebook account has also been set up.
The following statement from Chilleens on 17 was released after the news of the incident, stating Scott has no current affiliation with the restaurant:
"Dear Customers, Friends and Patrons:
It is with broken hearts that we are having to write this.
Chilleens on 17 and the entire Chilleen family emphatically denounces all actions taken by our father, Scott Chilleen, involving the accident on November 17th, which resulted in the tragic death of Mary Murphy. We are distraught and heartbroken by Mary’s death. We wish to clarify Scott Chilleen has no affiliation whatsoever with the restaurant. He has not had ownership or stake since 2016 when Aleah Chilleen purchased the restaurant.
Mary was our fathers beloved companion and was an integral part of our family. We will forever cherish her beautiful soul and radiant personality. We loved her deeply and are completely overcome with grief by her tragic death. Mary’s kindness, generosity, and humility touched our hearts every day and inspired us to be better people. We will forever be grateful for the amazing times we spent and the memories we were able to share as an extended family.
During this time, we ask for privacy and pray for healing and guidance for everyone who has been so deeply affected by this unfortunate tragedy.
Owner- Chilleens on 17"