Multiple vehicles involved in chain-reaction crash in icy Snowmass Canyon |

Multiple vehicles involved in chain-reaction crash in icy Snowmass Canyon

Staff report
Slick conditions led to two accidents that involved six vehicles on Highway 82 in Snowmass Canyon Monday afternoon. A garbage truck lost control on the ice and slid broadside into a vehicle that crashed moments before. Two people suffered non-life threatening injuries.
Basalt Fire Department/Courtesy photo |

Slick roads in Snowmass Canyon contributed to two separate accidents involving at least six vehicles Monday afternoon, according to emergency responders who were on the scene.

Two people were transported to Aspen Valley Hospital with injuries that weren’t life threatening, but rush-hour traffic was snarled. The downvalley lanes of Highway 82 were closed from shortly after 4 p.m. until about 6:45 p.m. as the damaged vehicles were towed and Colorado State Patrol investigated. Traffic was diverted onto Lower River Road.

The Fire Department initially was called to the Aspen side of Snowmass Canyon for a white sedan that spun off the road and ended up on an embankment above the Roaring Fork River, according to Basalt Fire Chief Scott Thompson. Traffic slowing for that accident got involved in a chain-reaction accident, he said.

“It looks like something in an interstate pileup,” Thompson said.

The two people who were injured were outside their vehicle after spinning out on the road. A garbage truck lost control, slid down the highway broadside and collided with their vehicle. Thompson said it was unclear to medical responders if the parties were injured in their single-car crash or when they were hit by the garbage truck.

Three additional vehicles were involved in crashes trying to avoid the carnage ahead of them. The wreck had the potential to produce more serious injuries, Thompson said. The highway was so slick in the canyon that responders could barely stand up, he said.

A Pitkin County deputy sheriff who witnessed the second accident after responding to the first spinout couldn’t be reached for comment. Investigators with Colorado State Patrol were on the scene Monday evening.

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