May Day storm brings snow to mountains
Aspen Co, Colorado
DENVER ” One person was killed after a car crash during a heavy spring snowstorm that moved across Colorado on May Day, with up to 16 inches of snow expected in the high country.
The afternoon accident on eastbound Interstate 70 about a half mile east of Watkins resulted in one death, the Colorado State Patrol said.
Trooper Ryan Sullivan said the accident involved nine vehicles, including a state patrol car and a Colorado Department of Transportation truck responding to an earlier accident. Sullivan said the trooper and CDOT employee were not injured.
Multiple accidents also closed Interstate 70 in both directions at Bennett, about 30 miles east of Denver. The highway was reopened by Thursday evening.
Wintry weather was blamed for a rash of minor accidents earlier in the day that closed westbound Interstate 70 for about 90 minutes just west of Denver.
“There’s a lot of slide-offs, fender-bender types,” State Patrol Master Trooper Ron Watkins said.
Watkins said up to 40 cars were involved in minor accidents on U.S. 36 near Lyons, 30 miles northwest of Denver. No injuries have been reported there.
The storm dropped up to 5 inches in Douglas County and Boulder County received more than 3 inches.
Loveland ski area, one of about three Colorado resorts still open, reported 6 inches.
The National Weather Service said 8 to 16 inches of snow could fall in the northern mountains. Up to 11 inches was forecast for the central mountains.
“Don’t be fooled by the date,” forecasters said in a heavy snow warning.
Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference officials canceled the opening day of their 2008 softball tournament in Golden.
In the mountains, snow prompted authorities to require chains on commercial vehicles on more than a half-dozen mountain passes.
Meanwhile, the National Weather Service issued a red flag warning for high fire danger in the southeast corner of the state. Baca County banned open fires because of dry, windy conditions.
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The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals this week affirmed the dismissal of a lawsuit against the city of Aspen that challenged its zoning laws concerning Mill Street Plaza, which is home to locally serving businesses.