Icy roads wreak havoc on Vail Pass
SUMMIT COUNTY – East- and west-bound lanes of Interstate-70 were closed for four hours between Frisco and Vail Pass early Sunday morning after numerous motor vehicle accidents.
Saturday night’s rain created icy roads on Vail Pass, according to Colorado State Patrol Captain Ron Prater, and there were about 20 accidents on both sides of the highway.
Among the accidents were two semi-trucks, including one from the Denver Post, that jackknifed in two separate accidents.
The driver of the Denver Post semi, a 66-year-old male, was taken to the Summit Medical Center for injuries, said David Williams, public information officer for Copper Mountain Fire Rescue.
The other semi, which was unidentified, jackknifed on a bridge and caused additional accidents because the truck blocked the road. The driver of the truck was not injured.
A Summit County Sheriff’s officer responding to the accident collided with the truck, followed by a Summit County Ambulance, which was taking the driver of the Denver Post truck to Summit Medical Center.
Williams said a paramedic in the ambulance suffered minor injuries, but the officer and driver of the ambulance were not injured, and the patient’s condition was unchanged.
Dillon Towing sent a tow truck to the scene, which then collided with the ambulance, Prater said. The driver of the tow truck was later arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.
Numerous hunters were driving west through the area, Prater said. One truck, towing a horse trailer, ran into the median after the trailer rolled. The driver and passenger were not injured, but the horse’s injuries required it be euthanized.
The driver of a Suburban was west-bound when the vehicle went off the side of the road and rolled several times. The driver was flown to St. Anthony’s Hospital in Denver, Prater said.
I-70 was closed in both directions between the top of Vail Pass and Frisco because of the accidents. The highway reopened around 9 a.m. Sunday, Williams said.
Lu Snyder can be reached at 970-668-3998 x203 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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