Two killed in Highway 82 accident |

Two killed in Highway 82 accident

Aspen Times Staff Report
Aspen, CO Colorado
Officials survey the scene of a fatal crash Tuesday on Highway 82, one mile east of Catherine Store and three miles west of El Jebel. (Courtesy Chad Billups)

EL JEBEL ” Two people died Tuesday morning when their car collided with a tractor-trailer that blocked the westbound lanes of Highway 82 near Catherine Store, according to the Colorado State Patrol.

The tractor-trailer had emerged from a driveway and was attempting to turn left onto the eastbound or upvalley lanes of Highway 82, investigators determined. The truck and trailer were sitting across the downvalley traffic lanes shortly before dawn when a 2000 Kia Sephia ran into them. The car came to rest partially pinned underneath the trailer.

The driver, a male, and a female riding in the front passenger seat died at the scene, authorities said. A third person was taken by ambulance to Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs, then transferred to St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction with serious injuries. None of the three was wearing seatbelts. They weren’t carrying identification, the state patrol said, so no names were available for release.

The driver of the 1984 Kenworth truck was cited for multiple charges. The state patrol said Mark Chamness, 48, of Littleton, Colo., was charged with careless driving causing death, careless driving causing bodily injury, stopping in an intersection where prohibited and violating an overwidth/over height permit by operating during the hours of darkness.

Chamness was wearing a seatbelt and was uninjured. His truck was hauling the type of modular trailer often used as an office at construction sites. The trailer was on wheels.

The accident occurred at about 6:40 a.m. about 3 miles west of El Jebel and 1 mile east of Catherine Store.

Rescue crews from Carbondale and Basalt responded to the scene. The westbound lanes were closed for about three hours. Traffic in those lanes was diverted onto secondary roads between main El Jebel stoplight and Catherine Store, then between the Blue Lake subdivision intersection and Catherine Store.

Eastbound or upvalley traffic was moving slow but kept flowing throughout the morning commute.

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