I-70 reopens after pileup at Vail | AspenTimes.com

I-70 reopens after pileup at Vail

Vail Daily Staff
Aspen, CO Colorado
Fireighters and paramedics prepare to remove a passenger from a small pickup truck involved in a seven-vehicle collision Thursday afternoon on I-70 in Vail. (Shane Macomber/Vail Daily)

VAIL ” One person is in critical condition after seven vehicles were involved in a crash at the end of a line of construction traffic on Interstate 70 in Vail Thursday afternoon.

An occupant of one of the vehicles was flown to Denver in critical condition, while passengers in other vehicles involved suffered minor injuries, authorities said.

There were a total of four injuries, Vail police said.

The crash occurred when the tractor-trailer ran into the back of another vehicle, causing a chain reaction collision with five other vehicles, Vail Police Officer Rafael Caballero said.

A canoe could be seen rammed through the windshield of a Coca-Cola tractor-trailer in the westbound lanes of I-70, which were closed. The pileup occurred around 2 p.m. on the interstate in front of the Vail post office.

Patrick Croghan of Eagle-Vail said he was about two cars behind the accident.

“All of a sudden saw a white plume of smoke ” I thought it was gravel falling off a truck,” he said. “Then I saw some kind of wreckage and thought ‘Oh my God.”

Several other drivers got out of their vehicles to see if they could help any of the victims.

“We were all trying to help but the wreckage of the truck needed more power than we could imagine,” Croghan said.

The westbound lanes of I-70 reopened around 4:40 p.m.