Suspected illegal immigrants crash on I-70
December 23, 2007
DENVER ” An 8-year-old girl suffered serious head injuries and four others were also hurt Saturday when their sport utility vehicle rolled over on Interstate 70 near Idaho Springs, one of several crashes on Colorado’s icy and snowpacked roads.
The girl was airlifted to Children’s Hospital in Denver and the others were taken by ambulances to hospitals, Idaho Springs Police Chief Dave Wohlers said. The other person riding in the SUV wasn’t injured, he said.
The passengers, all members of the same family, were suspected of being illegal immigrants because they were carrying identification cards from Mexico, Wohlers said. He said the state patrol’s immigration unit and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement were investigating.
The accident shut down eastbound lanes of the highway about 20 miles west of Denver for about 2 1/2 hours. Wohlers said the SUV, headed from Nevada to Nebraska, was apparently speeding on the highway which had icy spots following a winter storm on Friday.
South of Denver, a portion of Colorado 470 was also closed for about three hours after nine vehicles crashed, State Patrol spokesman Gilbert Mares said. Mares said the road was icy and snowpacked and that the driver may have been going too fast for those conditions. One person was injured but the injuries weren’t life threatening, he said.
In the city, a bus slid into a house, breaking a gas line but no one inside was hurt, fire department spokesman Joseph Gonzales said. Police spokesman John White said a car that lost control on some ice collided with the bus, which then crashed into the house. The bus driver was treated for cuts from broken glass, police said.
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A storm brought up to 11 inches of new snow to parts of the mountains Friday before moving out of the state. The National Weather Service said that a series of storms would sweep across the region nearly every other day for the next week starting Sunday.
Other highways that closed because of the storm were reopened Saturday, including Interstate 25 in southern Colorado and southbound U.S. Highway 287 between U.S. Highway 160 and the Oklahoma border.
However blowing snow closed U.S. 285 for part of Saturday night from Fairplay to Kenosha Pass.