Authorities sort out Vail Pass pileup |

Authorities sort out Vail Pass pileup

Steve Lynn
Vail correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colo. ” A woman and her two daughters who left their car may have been running for cover when several vehicles hit them during a 70-car pileup on Vail Pass March 31, the Colorado State Patrol said Wednesday.

Tina Rosati, 43, and her daughters Alyssa and Adrina, 15 and 11, were hit by several unknown vehicles during a pileup that also killed a Longmont resident Lance Melting, 39.

The Rosatis were taken to St. Anthony Summit Medical Center with injuries ranging from moderate to serious. The driver of their car, Robert Rosati, 39, of Grand Junction, was not injured.

Three separate chain reaction crashes resulted in a total of 20 people taken to local hospitals after 70 cars and semis smashed into each other on icy Interstate 70. The pileup also closed Vail Pass and the east lanes of the interstate in Eagle County for a total of about nine hours.

The first crash happened about 2:05 p.m. in the west lanes of the interstate and around 30 vehicles were involved. Around a dozen people had minor to moderate injuries, the State Patrol said.

About 2:15 p.m., Melting died of head injuries in a second chain reaction crash farther east in which around 11 vehicles were involved. Besides Melting and the Rosatis, other drivers and passengers had injuries ranging from minor to serious.

A third chain reaction crash happened about five minutes later and farther east near the summit of Vail Pass. Around 29 vehicles were involved, and had minor and moderate damage. No injuries were reported, the State Patrol said.

People had been asking whether someone had lost their legs during the pileup, but the State Patrol said it has found no evidence of that.

A number of people involved in the crash left the scene, so the State Patrol said it may never know exactly how many vehicles were involved or how many people were injured.

Everyone interviewed by the State Patrol was wearing seat belts in the crashes, and no charges were expected to filed, the State Patrol said.

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