Icy I-70 proves dicey to commuters
NEW CASTLE – Eastbound traffic slowed to a crawl on Interstate 70 Wednesday after three wrecks near mile post 112. The interstate’s eastbound lanes closed about 8:30 a.m., snarling traffic for several hours, according to Colorado State Patrol Capt. Rich Duran. Though traffic heading east didn’t move for more than an hour, westbound lanes were not affected. Katherine Narvez, 29, of New Castle, was the first to lose control of her vehicle. Excessive speed on the slick roadway caused her 2003 Chrysler van to hit the freeway’s center concrete barrier, according to the State Patrol. The van was deflected into the road’s right shoulder, where it stopped. Narvez was uninjured, and police did not cite her. Nearby, and shortly after Narvez’s accident, New Castle resident Tabitha Berger, 18, lost control of her blue Mazda and hit the freeway’s south guardrail. The car veered across the eastbound lanes and hit a Dodge Durango Jimmie Hunter, 48, of Castle Rock was driving. The Mazda hit the center concrete barrier and stopped, facing north. Berger, a male passenger and Hunter were uninjured. Hunter drove away from the scene. Police issued no citations in the accident. A final accident happened nearby when traffic began to slow for police, who were mopping up the other two accidents. A tractor-trailer rear-ended a Chevrolet van driven by Dean Kulppi, 44, of Grand Junction and collided with another van Kim Fetterhoff, 44, of New Castle was driving. Fetterhoff’s van was pushed to the left and collided with a Ford truck driven by Raymond Gooch, 60, of Grand Junction. The truck then jackknifed, came to a stop and blocked traffic in both eastbound lanes. Kulppi, Fetterhoff, Gooch and the truck’s driver, William Trujillo, 57, of Fruita, were also uninjured. Trujillo was cited for following too closely, Duran said. One eastbound lane of I-70 reopened at 9:43 a.m., he said. The ensuing traffic bottleneck and all three accidents had been cleared by about noon.
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