Man critically injured in Snowmass bus crash |

Man critically injured in Snowmass bus crash

Wyatt Haupt Jr.
Aspen, CO Colorado
Cleve Williams/Basalt Fire DepartmentThe mangled car from a crash early Tuesday morning on Highway 82 in Old Snowmass.

OLD SNOWMASS, Colorado ” A Carbondale man was critically injured Tuesday when the car he was in collided with a bus that was sitting in a wrong lane on Highway 82 near Snowmass, Colorado, authorities said.

Alfredo Rodriguez, 52, of Basalt, was driving a Roaring Fork Transportation Authority bus westbound on the highway about 5:39 a.m., when the vehicle apparently crossed over and into an eastbound lane near Lower River Road.

The bus traveled about 440 feet in the eastbound lane before it came to rest facing west, said Colorado State Patrol Capt. Richard Duran. He said it was “snowing pretty heavily,” and the roads were icy when the bus veered off course.

Henry Romero Vasquez, 36, heading east along the highway in a 1992 Honda Civic, slammed into the left rear of the bus.

The impact sent the four-door Honda into a 180-degree, counterclockwise spin before it stopped about 68 feet off the right side of the highway.

Rescue personnel found the “motorist pinned in the car from his chest down to his feet,” Basalt deputy fire chief Jerry Peetz said. He said that the Honda had major damage to the driver’s side.

At that point, medical personnel moved in to stabilize Vasquez.

“Then we started working on the extrication,” Peetz said. The process took about 25 minutes.

Rescuers removed all the glass from the vehicle, two doors on the passenger side and the roof.

“We used hydraulic arms to push the dash up off him,” Peetz said.

Once the victim was freed “we were able to slide him straight out of his seat and onto a backboard.”

The victim was taken to Aspen Valley Hospital, where he was listed in critical condition.

Rodriguez was cited for careless driving and failing to drive in his designated lane, said Duran, who also cautioned motorists to exercise caution when driving in snowy conditions.

The accident, which closed Highway 82 for about an hour, is under investigation by the state patrol.

A total of 16 firefighters and emergency personnel from Basalt responded, along with two fire engines, a heavy rescue truck and two ambulances. The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office also assisted.

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