Rocks on Highway 82 send two to hospital
November 24, 2014
Three large boulders tumbled onto Highway 82 near Carbondale shortly before 5 p.m. Monday, striking vehicles and sending two people to the hospital.
According to Carbondale Deputy Fire Chief Rob Goodwin, two vehicles were hit by boulders around 6 feet in diameter in the right-hand downvalley lane near mile-marker 10, just west of the intersection with Highway 133.
A white van with a single occupant took a direct hit. The driver was pinned, but alert and oriented, Goodwin said.
A red sedan was struck on the passenger side, inflicting minor injuries on the driver. Another vehicle either hit one of the other cars or one of the rocks, but the driver was uninjured.
The largest of the boulders, estimated between 8 and 10 feet in diameter, bounced across downvalley lanes and landed in the upvalley lanes near the Carbondale overlook.
"It was a mess," Goodwin said. "We saw that we needed help."
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Crews from Basalt and Glenwood fire departments, Colorado State Patrol, the Colorado Department of Transportation and the Garfield County Sheriff's Office responded. Carbondale and Basalt firefighters worked to free the driver from the van. He was then taken to Valley View Hospital. His condition was not available as of press time.
"They had him out of the vehicle in 25 minutes," Goodwin said. "The crews did an amazing job. I'm proud of them."
As the second ambulance left the scene, Goodwin was called to another accident near mile-marker 58 on Highway 133 — a single-vehicle rollover onto the bank of the Crystal River 20 feet below. The driver walked away from the accident uninjured.
Highway 82 was limited to one lane of traffic in each direction while crews cleared the scene and applied a cold mix asphalt patch to the damage. All lanes were open by 8 p.m. Monday and are expected to remain open today.