Carbondale man hurt in crash involving RFTA bus |

Carbondale man hurt in crash involving RFTA bus

Aspen Times Staff Report
Aspen, CO Colorado

OLD SNOWMASS ” A crash involving a car and a Roaring Fork Transportation Authority bus that strayed into the wrong lane on Highway 82 early Tuesday left a Carbondale man seriously injured and snarled traffic for upvalley commuters.

The bus, driven by Alfredo Rodriguez of Basalt, was headed downvalley at about 5:39 a.m. when it went into an eastbound, or upvalley, lane near the Lower River Road intersection and stopped, according to the Colorado State Patrol. A Honda Civic driven by Henry Romero Vasquez of Carbondale, which was headed east on the highway, struck the left rear of the bus. The car continued east for 68 feet, spinning half-way around in the process, said the patrol in a press release.

The Honda came to a stop off the right side of the highway, facing west, while the bus remained in the left lane of eastbound Highway 82, according to the press release.

The highway was closed for about an hour while emergency crews extracted Vasquez, 36, from his vehicle. He suffered serious injuries and was transported to Aspen Valley Hospital, the patrol said. Authorities aren’t sure whether or not Vasquez was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash.

Rodriguez, 52, was cited for careless driving and failing to drive in his designated lane, according to the patrol. He was the sole occupant of the bus and was not hurt. He was wearing a seatbelt.

Snow was falling heavily at the time of the accident and Highway 82 was snow packed and icy, the patrol said.

The highway was completely reopened at 7:48 a.m., according to the patrol, but traffic was backed up to nearly Basalt by about 7 a.m. Shortly after 7 a.m., it took an upvalley RFTA bus 30 minutes to travel from just upvalley of the main Basalt intersection to the Wingo Junction pedestrian bridge and another 20 minutes to reach the entrance to Lazy Glen.

The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office, Basalt Fire Protection District, Basalt ambulance and Ajax Towing all responded to the accident scene.

See Wednesday’s Aspen Times for more on the accident.

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