Wreck closes Maroon Creek Road | AspenTimes.com

Wreck closes Maroon Creek Road

John Colson
Paul Conrad/The Aspen Times

A collision between a skier shuttle bus and a sport utility vehicle Thursday morning sent four people to the hospital and disrupted traffic on Maroon Creek Road, which was closed to traffic at the roundabout.The head-on crash occurred about 10:30 a.m., forcing police to close the road to traffic in both directions for about 45 minutes.

An ambulance transported all three people in the SUV, a Dodge Durango rental, to Aspen Valley Hospital, police reported.The driver, James Seay of Florida, was ticketed for driving too fast for conditions. He was listed in good condition at Aspen Valley Hospital on Thursday afternoon. The rear-seat passenger, Rex McPherson, also of Florida, was in good condition at AVH. Police did not release the name of the front-seat passenger, also believed to be from Florida. Information on the seriousness of his injuries or his condition at the hospital was not available.The bus driver, Bill Smith, reportedly complained of pain in his knees and also was taken to the hospital. There were no passengers on the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority bus, according to the police statement.

According to police, the Durango caused the wreck when it was headed west up the valley and skidded out of control and into oncoming traffic in the curve next to the Aspen schools athletic field.Smith, who was headed downvalley and into town, tried to avoid a collision but “there was nothing he could do,” RFTA CEO Dan Blankenship said.

The right front corner of the car rammed into the front of the bus directly in front of the driver’s position, according to an officer on the scene. The crash sheared the steering column in the bus and crumpled the fronts of both vehicles.The force of the impact also threw the front passenger of the SUV forward, jamming that passenger under the dashboard. McPherson was thrown forward at the same time, collapsing the front passenger seat and pinning the front passenger under the dash. Both air bags in the SUV deployed, according to police. None of the occupants was wearing a seat belt.John Colson’s e-mail address is jcolson@aspentimes.com

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