Colorado roadway deaths in 2017 surpass 2016 total, which saw the most in over a decade |

Colorado roadway deaths in 2017 surpass 2016 total, which saw the most in over a decade

615 people had died on Colorado’s roadways as of Tuesday

By JESSE PAUL and TOM MCGHEE / The Denver Post
Morning rush hour traffic makes its way along I-25 on Oct. 12, 2017 in Denver.
RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post

Colorado has recorded more roadway deaths this year than it did in 2016 — a year that saw the most such fatalities in more than a decade and prompted alarm from state transportation officials.

The Colorado Department of Transportation on Tuesday has tallied 615 deaths on the state’s roadways so far in 2017. Last year, there were 608.

The 2017 number includes the three people who died Monday night, when, according to authorities, an 86-year-old Wheat Ridge man drove the wrong way down Interstate 70 before slamming head-on into a pickup truck. A fourth person was seriously hurt.

The tally also includes a 19-year-old Longmont woman killed last week in a single-vehicle crash in southwestern Colorado.

Preliminary data show an increase in deaths from crashes involving impairment and people not being properly restrained with a seat belt, CDOT’s traffic-safety program spokesman Sam Cole said earlier. A full analysis of the numbers won’t be completed until sometime next year.

However, Cole pointed at the decrease in motorcycle deaths and the decline in the year-over-year increase rate of people killed on Colorado’s roads as positives.

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