Two remain hospitalized after fatal Sunday accident
SUMMIT COUNTY – A 61-year-old woman remained in critical condition Tuesday following a Sunday accident that claimed the life of her grandson.
Tisha Fruit, of Cleveland, was in intensive care at St. Anthony’s Central Hospital in Denver with injuries suffered from being ejected from a rented Chevy Blazer. Her daughter, 42-year-old Melody Fruit, was in good condition at the same facility, according to hospital staff.
The accident occurred about 7:15 a.m. Sunday on Interstate 70 near Mile 194, east of Copper Mountain. Diante Fruit, 25, was driving the Blazer when it went off the left side of the eastbound lanes. According to the Colorado State Patrol, Fruit overcorrected, causing the car to spin and roll over. The Fruits and passenger Narieka Lewis, also 25, were all ejected. None of the occupants were wearing seat belts. Lewis was treated at Denver Health Hospital and released.
“We’re still looking into it, but it appears the driver may have fallen asleep,” said CSP Capt. Ron Prater. “Alcohol was not a factor, and speed was not a factor.”
Keystone ski patroller Dennis Kaiser and a friend were headed to Vail when they came upon the accident. The two stopped to help and called 911. Kaiser described the scene as something he hadn’t seen since Vietnam.
“We came around the corner, and there’s this car obliterated,” Kaiser said. “There were four people laying on the pavement, and the driver had gone through the windshield. I tried to help him, but he was gone.”
Prater said the quartet’s injuries might have been reduced had they been wearing seat belts.
“Nobody thinks it’s going to happen to them,” Prater said. “You absolutely increase the survivability of an accident just by putting a seat belt on.”
Prater said the troopers responding to the accident had just finished handling another fatal accident in Clear Creek County. Dennis Poladsky, 45, of Westminster, died when his motorcycle collided with a deer on eastbound I-70. Prater said Poladsky was traveling at an estimated 100 mph when the collision occurred near Mile 231. The motorcycle then veered into the guardrail, ejecting Poladsky. Prater said the man flew another 80 feet and hit a tree, killing him. The motorcycle continued to cruise unmanned for another 700 feet, passing another motorist before falling over.
“The sergeant had just finished that up five minutes before,” Prater said. “It wasn’t a good day.”
Reid Williams can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 237 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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