Two multiple-vehicle crashes lead to three-hour I-70 closure Wednesday
December 29, 2016
Eastbound Interstate 70 was closed for nearly three hours in Silverthorne on Wednesday after two, multiple-vehicle crashes occurred within one minute of each other near the Eisenhower Tunnel at mile marker 216.
Matt Kroschel, a reporter with CBS 4 in Denver, was involved in one of the crashes but was uninjured. From the scene, he reported that conditions were "like an ice rink" and that as many as 25 vehicles were involved in both pile-ups. He also said that three people were being treated for injuries, including a woman who was seven months pregnant.
Later in the afternoon, a spokesman for the Colorado State Patrol said that three people had been transported to St. Anthony's Hospital in Lakewood after the first crash, which damaged two vehicles. He couldn't comment on the severity of the injuries but noted that no fatalities had been reported.
There were no injuries in the second crash, which damaged at least seven vehicles, he said.
The accidents occurred at 10:13 and 10:14 a.m. and both are being investigated as separate incidents. As of late Wednesday afternoon state patrol had still not determined causes for either, although the spokesman said that road conditions at the scene had been snowy and windy, which may have reduced visibility.
Eastbound I-70 re-opened at 1 p.m. but the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) imposed safety metering through the tunnel, citing traffic backups on the other side.
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Just before the accidents, CDOT had closed Loveland Pass due to avalanche danger, and it remained closed throughout the day.
Eastbound I-70 was closed at milemarker 176 in Vail at 12:20 p.m. due to multiple crashes and didn't re-open until 2 p.m. after the accidents at the Eisenhower tunnel had been cleared.
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