Two busloads of Aspen Elementary School third-graders were stuck in Glenwood Canyon on Interstate 70 for three hours Thursday morning when both directions of the highway were closed after a state trooper and another person were shot.
A Colorado State Patrol officer was wounded and a suspect killed on I-70 shortly after 9 a.m. on the eastern end of Glenwood Canyon.
The entire third-grade class, which roughly equates to 100 students, from Aspen Elementary School and six teachers were on their way for an overnight stay to Denver as part of their outdoor-education trip.
Tammy Trojan, a third-grade teacher at the elementary school and chaperone for the Denver trip, said both buses were stuck on the highway for roughly three hours. She said the students remained safe at all times and had no idea what caused the delay.
“We didn’t have any cellphone service where we were stopped,” Trojan said. “Some of the kids had electronic devices, so we made the best of the situation and had a dance party and ate snacks. The kids actually were having a really good time.”
The school buses finally were allowed to proceed to Denver around 1 p.m. when only the eastbound lanes were reopened. Trojan said they didn’t see any of the crime scene once they continued their trip.
“The delay makes for a long trip,” Trojan said. “But that’s OK. We’re just happy we’re back on the road, and everyone here is doing fine.”
Doreen Goldyn, the elementary school principal, said at no point was there a real concern for the safety of the students and teachers on the buses.
“We received updates right away from the teachers once they realized there might be a delay,” Goldyn said. “Once we realized they might be stuck for an extended period of time, we sent notices to the parents to let them know what the situation was.”