Wrecks snarl Hwy. 82 morning traffic | AspenTimes.com

Wrecks snarl Hwy. 82 morning traffic

Pete Fowler
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Three accidents involving six vehicles slowed Highway 82 traffic toward Aspen for about two hours and 45 minutes Tuesday morning.

According to Colorado State Patrol Senior Trooper Steve Nofziger, the accidents, which happened within seconds of each other, were reported at 6:25 a.m. near where County Road 113 ” or Cottonwood Pass Road ” intersects Highway 82.

A Ford Ranger hit an elk crossing the highway and rolled into the median. Next, the driver of a red Volkswagon sedan trying to slow down for elk and was rear-ended by a red Toyota Tacoma pickup.

After that, drivers of a blue Dodge Caravan and a black Mazda Protege were trying to slow down to avoid the accident when the driver of a white Dodge pickup with a snowplow lost control behind them, squeezed between the guardrail and the two vehicles ” both in the right lane ” and scraped them both on right side, Nofziger said.

No one was injured.

“The elk got hurt, but he’s still up and about,” Nofziger said. “The (Division of Wildlife) may come and put it down later this afternoon.”

The driver of the Toyota Tacoma pickup was cited with following too closely, and the driver of the Dodge pickup with the plow was cited with careless driving, Nofziger said. He said he couldn’t release the drivers’ names.

Three vehicles were towed and the scene was cleared up at about 9:20 a.m. The left lane was closed and traffic was diverted through the right lane for about two hours and 45 minutes, Nofziger said.

“The right lane was open, however, the volume brought it down to almost a standstill,” he said. “It couldn’t have hit a worse time. A lot of people were late for work this morning.”

Elk on the roads are more of a problem this year. Nofziger reported the patrol is seeing a lot of roadkill now because extra snow has made elk hungry and they’re trying harder to find food.

“I’ve been here for 14 years and I haven’t seen as many carcasses along the side of the road as I have this year,” Nofziger said.


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