ECO bus in Vail falls into river in Highway 6 accident

Randy Wyrick
Vail Daily
An ECO bus driver lost control on an icy Highway 6 Friday in Edwards, skiding into the path of an oncoming pickup truck. The pickup hit the skidding bus in the side, knocking it into the Eagle River. The two pickup passengers were injured and taken to the hospital. The driver was the only person aboard the ECO bus. He was uninjured.
Colorado State Patrol

EDWARDS — Two people were injured when an Eagle County transit system bus collided with a pickup truck Friday afternoon in Edwards, then slid off Highway 6 into the Eagle River.

The occupants of the work truck were transported to Vail Health Hospital with injuries. The extent of their injuries is not yet known, said Kris Widlak, Eagle County’s communications director.

The two men, ages 19 and 40, are both from Gypsum, Colorado State Patrol Trooper Jake Best said.

Their injuries are serious, but they are in stable condition, Best said.

The bus driver was the only person on the bus. There were no passengers, according to the State Patrol report. The bus driver was shaken up but not injured or taken to the hospital.

What happened

The first call to emergency dispatchers came in at 12:53 p.m. Friday, according to the State Patrol. Eagle River Fire Protection District, Eagle County Paramedic Service, and Eagle County Sheriff’s Office responded and arrived shortly after.

The bus was traveling eastbound on Highway 6 in the Edwards area. The pickup truck was headed west.

The bus driver lost control on the slushy and icy road, went into the westbound lane and into the path of the pickup, a Toyota Tundra.

The pickup hit the side of the skidding bus, rotating it 180 degrees, according to the State Patrol report.

The bus continued off the north side of the roadway, down the steep riverbank and rolled one-quarter turn as it rolled into the Eagle River, landing on the driver’s side in the water.

The Colorado State Patrol Hazardous Materials Team and Colorado Parks and Wildlife were on the scene managing the oil and fuel spill and the impacts to the Eagle River. Three heavy duty tow trucks worked to pull the bus from the river.

Both directions of Highway 6 remained closed between Squaw Creek Road and Wolcott Spur Road until just after 6 p.m. Friday.

The cause of the accident is not yet known, but road conditions are slushy and icy in spots throughout Eagle County, Best said.

“We expect roads to be like this for the next couple days,” Best said.

Snow is forecast to continue through the weekend, possibly bringing a couple of feet to the high country, according to the National Weather Service.


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