I-70 crash kills one | SummitDaily.com

I-70 crash kills one

by Reid Williams

SUMMIT COUNTY – A single-car accident early Tuesday morning left one person dead and two injured – consequences that might have been avoided, a state trooper said.

The Colorado State Patrol arrived at the scene on eastbound Interstate 70 just past Copper Mountain, near mile marker 195, at 6:47 a.m. Cpl. Brett Williams said the four-door Toyota rolled three-and-a-quarter times before coming to rest in the median.

One passenger was ejected as the car rolled, killing him. Williams said the male, whose identity was not released pending notification of family, was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident.

A female passenger was injured in the crash, but was treated at Summit Medical Center and released. The driver was airlifted to St. Anthony’s Central Hospital in Denver, Williams said. Williams would not identify the occupants because they are juveniles.

“But it’s looking like they had their seat belts on,” Williams said. “We think speed has a role in this. We’re not sure if the driver fell asleep or just lost control.”

Williams said the motorists’ identification indicated they were from the Colorado Springs area and there was luggage in the car, implying the three might have been on a road trip.

The accident scene closed down the interstate to one lane for about six hours, as troopers used laser-mapping and computers to reconstruct the accident. Williams said the technique is used to rule out vehicle defects and determine what factors caused the crash. The evidence is used to file charges – “always a possibility,” Williams said.

Williams said the past three days have been been full of serious accidents, including five helicopter airlifts in the Park, Clear Creek and Summit county areas covered by the Frisco state patrol troop.

“We’ve had some severe ones,” Williams said. “A lot of driver inattention, and the traffic is high right now. And that area (below Vail Pass on I-70) is one of the worst – the speed that people get coming down there is too much.”

The Tuesday fatality is only the second on Summit County highways this year. Brisa Quezada, of Aurora, died May 20 in a one-car rollover on I-70 near Frisco. Quezada was not wearing a seat belt.

Reid Williams can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 237 or rwilliams@summitdaily.com.

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