3 accidents involving 8 vehicles swamp Basalt Monday; one woman seriously injured
Two accidents on Highway 82 on Monday evening in Basalt involved seven vehicles but all occupants managed to avoid injuries.
The first accident involved four vehicles at the intersection of Highway 82 and West Two Rivers Road. A driver headed downvalley on the highway “blew through” the intersection despite a red light, according to Basalt Police Sgt. Aaron Munch. The traffic was at a standstill just past the intersection. The vehicle that ran the red light rear-ended a vehicle, causing a chain reaction.
The driver of the vehicle that caused the accident was given a ticket for careless driving, Munch said.
Traffic was reduced to one lane for about 45 minutes while Basalt Fire Department medical personnel checked out the occupants and the debris was cleared.
The second accident occurred in the downvalley lanes at about 5:25 p.m. It involved three vehicles, including a U.S. Forest Service truck hauling a Bobcat on a trailer. The Colorado State Patrol investigated that accident since it was outside of the Basalt town boundary. No information was available as of press time. No occupants were transported due to injuries in the accident. One occupant was checked for a pre-existing medical issue.
That accident also tormented commuters returning downvalley.
Munch said there was no ice on the roads to contribute to the accidents.
“The roads are completely dry,” he said from the scene. “There are no adverse conditions.”
While the occupants of the seven vehicles avoided injuries, a woman involved in a single-car accident at a Basalt storage facility wasn’t as fortunate. Emergency responders were paged at about 4 p.m. to a mini-storage facility on Park Avenue, near the intersection with Willits Lane.
The woman exited the vehicle to punch in her code and open an entry gate, according to Munch. She left the vehicle in reverse and when it started moving she attempted to stop it, he said. She suffered extensive injuries to both legs and was transported to Valley View Hospital, according to Munch. The woman’s address and age were unavailable and details on how she was injured were unclear.
The vehicle struck the mini-storage building. The structure wasn’t damaged but the vehicle was, Munch said.
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State water-quality officials will soon evaluate whether two water-improvement programs in the Gunnison River basin have successfully reduced a chemical that is toxic to endangered fish. They are analyzing five years of data on selenium levels in the Gunnison, where heightened selenium and salinity have harmed Colorado pikeminnow and razorback sucker populations.