Deputy hurt while directing traffic on snowy Highway 82 |

Deputy hurt while directing traffic on snowy Highway 82

Scott Condon
Aspen Times Staff Writer

An Eagle County sheriff’s deputy was injured Thursday night while directing traffic around a car accident on an icy Highway 82, said Sheriff A.J. Johnson.

Johnson identified the injured deputy as Tamara Blackard of Rifle. She responded to a single-car accident just west of Emma around 6 p.m. and was keeping heavy commuter traffic flowing. A red Jeep Cherokee hit the rear of her patrol car and knocked it into Blackard, authorities indicated.

She was taken to Valley View Hospital, where she was undergoing X-rays last night.

“She’s got some hip pain but she’s doing fine,” said a nurse in the emergency room.

The mishap came during a two-hour period that had police scrambling from accident to accident in the midvalley. Snow showers, heavy at times, made for treacherous conditions starting at about 5 p.m.

“Roads were sheer ice,” said Basalt Police Sgt. Don Calvano. He said Basalt police responded to five accidents at about the same time.

In one case, a tow truck was rear-ended on Two Rivers Road while it was attempting to retrieve a vehicle that had gone over an embankment toward the Roaring Fork River. No one was injured.

In the Highway 82 accident, the driver of one vehicle was taken to Aspen Valley Hospital. The Colorado State Patrol was investigating the accident last night. No information was immediately available on the driver of the car that initially crashed nor the driver of the red Cherokee that hit the patrol car. It was unknown if any tickets were issued.

Officers from Eagle and Pitkin counties as well as Basalt responded to the scene and directed traffic. One lane of the highway was closed temporarily, and commuter traffic backed up.

Road conditions improved significantly when the snow stopped and the transportation department was able to make its rounds. It wasn’t snowing at the time of the Highway 82 accident, but roads were extremely icy.

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