Wreck kills woman on Highway 82
December 28, 2005
An Illinois woman died after two cars collided Wednesday at Highway 82 and Brush Creek Road. Two others were injured, and the wreck snarled traffic in the upper valley for hours, according to the Colorado State Patrol.Elizabeth Birt, 49, of Wilmette, Ill., who reportedly was visiting Aspen with friends, died of injuries she suffered in the crash, according to Pitkin County’s chief deputy coroner, Scott Thompson.Birt was a passenger in a westbound 2006 Ford Taurus, which Steven D. Felt, 52, also of Wilmette, was driving, according to the Colorado State Patrol. Felt’s son, Michael, 13, was also in the car.
About 9:30 a.m. Steven Felt turned left off Highway 82 to head south on Brush Creek Road.A pickup truck carrying driver Blake Williams, 31, and passenger Mary Williams, 31, both of Snowmass, reportedly was heading upvalley on Highway 82 and slammed into the Taurus between the front and back doors on the passenger side.The impact spun the sedan into the northbound lanes of Brush Creek Road. The truck kept going on the highway for another 44 feet, coming to a stop blocking both upvalley lanes of the highway, according to the State Patrol.Birt had stopped breathing by the time emergency personnel had pulled her from the car, but rescuers at the scene resuscitated her, Thompson said. She died in the emergency room at Aspen Valley Hospital at 1:26 p.m.
The Williamses both were wearing seat belts and received only minor injuries. A State Patrol report did not indicate whether they were taken to Aspen Valley Hospital.Steven Felt was wearing a seat belt, but the State Patrol said it did not know whether Birt and the younger Felt were wearing seat belts. Steven Felt was ticketed for careless driving causing serious bodily injury, careless driving causing death and no proof of insurance.Rescuers had to cut the roof off the sedan to get the occupants out, and Ayers said all three were taken to Aspen Valley Hospital for treatment of serious injuries. Michael Felt later was airlifted to Children’s Hospital in Denver, according to the State Patrol, although officials at that hospital said Wednesday evening they had no patient by that name.
The wreck drew most of Pitkin County’s on-duty sheriff’s deputies into action for much of the morning, as well as officers from the Aspen and Snowmass Village police departments and the Colorado State Patrol.Because the truck was blocking the upvalley lanes of Highway 82, deputies diverted eastbound highway traffic down Smith Hill Way and over McLain Flats Road into town for five and a half hours, according to the State Patrol.The sedan was blocking both northbound lanes of Brush Creek Road just before the intersection. Snowmass Village police Sgt. Brian Olson said his department diverted traffic onto Highline and Owl Creek roads from 10 a.m. to about 2:30 p.m., when Highway 82 reopened to traffic.John Colson’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org