Four seriously hurt in midvalley crash
A high-speed, three-vehicle accident in the midvalley on Highway 82 this morning seriously injured four area residents and created carnage that had emergency response officials shaking their heads.
“This is the most damage I’ve seen in years,” said Basalt Fire Chief Scott Thompson, a former Pitkin County deputy sheriff who has responded to numerous accidents.
The accident left the intersection of Highway 82 and Dakota Road, the entrance into Dakota subdivision, strewn with tires, debris and spilled fluids from the vehicles. Two people were ejected from their vehicles.
A Toyota Tacoma pickup was nearly ripped in two. The other two vehicles incurred extensive front-end damage.
The wreck occurred at 9:14 a.m. when an eastbound Toyota Land Cruiser driven by Richard Tallman, 75, of Carbondale, drifted off the left side of the road and into the westbound or downvalley-bound lanes, according to the Colorado State Patrol.
Tallman’s SUV sideswiped a Toyota Tacoma pickup driven by Bonnie Snyder of Carbondale and caused it to spin out of control, the state patrol’s report said. The pickup flew into the ditch and rolled two-and-one-quarter times, ejecting Snyder through the driver’s door. She was partially pinned under her truck and extricated by rescuers from the Basalt fire department.
Tallman’s SUV stayed in the westbound lanes and turned broadside into the path of an Audi station wagon driven by Patrick J. Seurynck, 50, of Basalt. Seurynck’s Audi skidded for 150 feet before colliding head-on with Tallman’s SUV, the state patrol said in a press release.
Rob Clark arrived on the scene minutes after the accident while trying to exit onto the highway from Dakota Drive. He said the woman, later identified as Snyder, appeared to have life-threatening injuries.
Another victim was laying in the intersection near the stop sign after apparently getting ejected from one of the vehicles, Clark said. The man was able to tell medical personnel his name and address, according to Clark.
The state patrol said Snyder was taken to Aspen Valley Hospital and then flown by helicopter to St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction. Snyder was not wearing a seatbelt, the state patrol said.
Tallman was being treated for injuries at Aspen Valley Hospital. Seurynck and his passenger, Joan Widifred Haggerty, 49, of Basalt, were taken to Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs. Haggerty was later taken by ambulance to St. Mary’s.
The vehicles of Tallman and Seurynck came to rest in the intersection of Highway 82 and Dakota Drive after the wreck. Tallman’s Toyota SUV had extensive damage to the front end and the right passenger side.
Seurynck’s Audi also suffered severe front-end damage and was crumpled into the rear passenger side of the Toyota SUV.
Snyder’s pickup came to rest about 125 yards farther downvalley from the other cars, in the ditch.
One lane of westbound Highway 82 was closed until noon. The state patrol hadn’t issued any tickets and was continuing its investigation as of 2 p.m. today.
Scott Condon’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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