One dead in Glenwood Canyon crash

Staff report
Kelley Cox / Post Independent

Around 4:30 a.m. Wednesday, the Colorado State Patrol responded to a crash in which a tractor trailer and passenger sedan carrying four people collided head-on in a construction zone, in Glenwood Canyon killing the driver of the car and seriously injuring the other three occupants.

The crash, which involved a 2012 Mazda and a semi-truck carrying beer, occurred on Interstate 70 at milepost 127, which is about 11 miles east of Glenwood Springs and two miles west of the scene of an April 15 collision that killed three people.

The construction zone consists of two-way traffic in the westbound lanes, and the speed limit is reduced to 40 mph. The tractor-trailer was westbound and had just exited a tunnel when the eastbound sedan abruptly moved from the eastbound lane to the westbound lane and collided head-on with the truck, according to the State Patrol.

The three surviving occupants of the car were taken to Vail Valley Medical Center, according to one of the responding troopers. One of the three passengers, a child, was later taken to Denver for treatment.

Both vehicles became engulfed in flames upon impact. The Mazda rotated counterclockwise at least once and came to rest in the westbound lane, facing east. The tractor-trailer continued westbound and collided with a cement barrier off the south side of the roadway, coming to rest in the eastbound lane, facing west.

Witnesses were able to help three of the four occupants escape from the burning Mazda. The driver of the car was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the tractor-trailer escaped the burning truck without injury and declined medical attention.

Interstate 70 was closed in both directions for nearly eight hours as the investigation and cleanup continued. CDOT also dispatched a team to inspect the bridge structure where the crash occurred.

Glenwood Springs Fire, Gypsum Fire, Eagle Valley Rescue, CDOT, and the Colorado State Patrol Hazardous Material Unit responded to the scene.

At about 5:30 a.m. April 14, an eastbound sedan carrying three people drifted into the westbound lane just two miles east of Wednesday’s accident scene and collided with a westbound King Soopers tractor trailer. All three occupants in that car, including two local teens and a 24-year-old Gypsum man, died as a result of the crash.

A coroner’s toxicology report later determined that the driver of the car had a blood alcohol content three times higher than the legal limit for driving in Colorado.