Shuttle crash leaves two critical |

Shuttle crash leaves two critical

Steve Lynn
Vail Daily, CO Colorado

GEORGETOWN ” Two people were in critical condition Monday after a driver for an Edwards ski shuttle company crashed into the back of a parked snowplow on Interstate 70 near Georgetown Sunday, officials said.

The Colorado State Patrol is “seriously considering” recommending felony charges be filed against the driver of a Colorado Mountain Express van that crashed into a the snowplow, sending the driver and all eight passengers to the hospital, CSP Capt. Ron Prater said Monday afternoon.

State Trooper Ryan Boone told KUSA-TV the highway had been closed while crews cleaned up a gasoline spill and the snowplow was parked in the area to make sure traffic diverted off the highway.

Boone said all the other traffic was getting off the highway. Sebastian Lopez, the 28-year-old driver of Colorado Mountain Express shuttle, kept going and hit the snowplow at about 60 miles an hour, Boone said.

The van was headed to Denver International Airport from Vail, said Jay Ufer, chief executive of Edwards-based Colorado Mountain Express.

The State Patrol is investigating all possible causes for the wreck, including weather, visibility and statements made by passengers pertaining to the driver, Prater said.

Ufer said Lopez has been driving for the company for multiple seasons. He is still employed by CME, but is working in an administrative off-road position. Lopez had completed all of CME’s training requirements, including classroom sessions, orienteering, defensive driving, various department of transportation requirements and airport training, Ufer said.

Lopez’s eight passengers were hurt; two were airlifted to St. Anthony Central Hospital, said Master Trooper Ronald Watkins of the State Patrol. Braden Weber, the 30-year-old snowplow driver, was standing in his truck’s doorway when it was hit, knocking him to the ground, the State Patrol said in a news release.

Weber, a Georgetown resident, was transported to St. Anthony Summit Medical Center and was treated and released, Watkins said.

Lopez was not injured, Watkins said. The State Patrol may charge Lopez with vehicular assault and reckless driving, the release said.

Summit Daily reporter Nicole Formosa and The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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