Head-on crash near Basalt injures 3, closes highway
Three people were taken to area hospitals Thursday night and Highway 82 was shut down for more than three hours after a head-on collision on the Emma Curve, authorities said.
The crash occurred at about 10:30 p.m. at milepost 21.3. A 2009 BMW passenger car driven by Colin Buchanan, 20, of Glenwood Springs, was headed westbound.
“He crossed the center painted median and struck vehicle No. 2 head-on,” said Capt. Rich Duran of the Colorado State Patrol.
Buchanan’s car hit a 1993 Jeep Cherokee driven by Guadalupe Toledo Roque, 37, of El Jebel, the state patrol’s investigation showed. She was traveling eastbound in the left lane. The impact of the head-on collision knocked her vehicle into a Chevy Traverse traveling in the right eastbound lane, Duran said.
The Basalt Fire Department responded to the scene and called in assistance from the Carbondale Fire Department. A “lengthy extrication” was needed to get Toledo Roque out of her vehicle, according to Basalt Deputy Fire Chief Pete Bradshaw. He estimated it took 40 minutes to get the driver out of the Jeep because of its mangled condition.
The state patrol report said Buchanan was taken to a hospital with minor injuries and Toledo Roque was transported with serious injuries. Bradshaw said a passenger in the Jeep was taken to the hospital with moderate injuries. No one from the third vehicle was injured.
Duran said the investigating trooper ticketed Buchanan, but the charge or charges weren’t immediately available from the investigation report. The investigator was off duty Friday afternoon working the night shift so he was not available for comment.
The cleanup of the crash and investigation required the closure of all four lanes of Highway 82 until shortly after 2 a.m.
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Ron LeMaster was a ski instructor and race coach for more than 30 years, working with the U.S. Ski Team and ski schools at Aspen and Vail. His contributions to the technical art of skiing are immeasurable.