No serious injuries in Highway 82 head-on crash
BASALT ” Two women were slightly injured in a head-on collision on Highway 82 in Basalt on Tuesday morning, but two young children escaped harm in an accident authorities said could have been much worse.
All five occupants of the two vehicles in the crash were wearing seatbelts or were properly restrained, according to Basalt Police Sgt. Roderick O’Connor.
“That’s what saved these people’s lives, they had their seatbelts on,” he said. The air bags in both vehicles also deployed.
The accident occurred at 9:11 a.m. when a Volvo wagon driven by Linda Difazio pulled out of the Roaring Fork Club entrance on Arbaney Ranch Road onto Highway 82, attempting to turn upvalley, the police report said. Difazio turned into the path of a westbound Ford Expedition driven by Brian Hosier.
“It was a high-speed hit,” said Jerry Peetz, deputy fire chief for the Basalt Fire Department.
The front passenger side of Expedition hit the front driver side of the Volvo, O’Connor said. Both vehicles came to rest in the eastbound lanes. Emergency response teams from the fire department had to scramble to remove the driver of the Volvo because the car’s engine was on fire.
“When we arrived there was smoke and visible flames under the hood of the Volvo,” Peetz said. The driver was extricated from the crumpled car without the use of tools, he said.
Difazio, 66, had a Connecticut driver’s license, O’Connor said. Hosier is from Lakewood, Colo. Difazio was the lone occupant of her car. Hosier was traveling with his wife, Amy, and their children, ages 4 and 7, authorities said.
Both women were taken to Aspen Valley Hospital. Amy Hosier was treated and released while Difazio is listed in “good” condition, according to a hospital spokeswoman. Brian Hosier suffered a severe bruise to his arm but refused transport. O’Connor said the man wanted to stay with his children.
The officer was contemplating a ticket for Difazio. He said the accident emphasized the need for drivers to pay special attention on Highway 82 and to always be defensive.
“Even if you have a green light, look both ways,” O’Connor said.
The intersection that Difazio exited isn’t signaled. She advanced from the north side of the highway from a stop sign.
The Basalt Fire Department responded with two ambulances, one fire engine and one rescue vehicle along with 17 personnel. Highway 82 wasn’t closed but commuter traffic crawled past the site until after 10:30 a.m.
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