A 53-year-old Aspen man driving a motorcycle was killed on Highway 82 near Basalt on Saturday when he was struck head-on by a Ford wagon driven by an 88-year-old Carbondale man, according to the Colorado State Patrol.
“The initial report is the Ford station wagon crossed over into the wrong lane,” said Trooper Josh Lewis, a public information officer with the State Patrol.
The preliminary investigation indicated John Walls drove his 2003 Ford Focus east in the westbound lanes.
“Walls’ Ford struck a westbound Ducati motorcycle head-on in the left lane of westbound Highway 82,” the State Patrol said in a statement. The victim’s name wasn’t released pending notification of his family.
Walls was taken to Valley View Hospital with minor injuries. He was arrested on suspicion of careless driving causing death, and additional charges are pending, the State Patrol said.
The accident occurred at about 5 p.m. at mile marker 22. That is 1 mile west of Basalt and one-quarter mile east of the old Emma store. The motorcycle, a red 2002 Ducati, ended up facing west in the left westbound lane. The body of the driver was visible a short distance upvalley from the motorcycle immediately after the crash. Emergency responders covered the body with a sheet until a coroner arrived on the scene. The accident happened in Pitkin County just a few yards from the border with Eagle County. Walls was booked into the Garfield County Jail for reasons that weren’t clear Saturday night.
The accident occurred about 90 minutes after persistent showers eased in the midvalley. Downvalley traffic was routed for about four hours onto Basalt Avenue and Two Rivers Road. Upvalley traffic was unaffected.
In a separate accident, Carbondale firefighters and ambulance crews were called to mile marker 56 on Highway 133 at about 9 p.m. for a head-on collision of vehicles. Basalt responders were also paged to the scene because of multiple injuries, authorities said. The site of the accident was reported to be one-half mile south of Avalanche Ranch. Details weren’t available at press time.