Wreck near Basalt snarls traffic; driver injured | VailDaily.com

Wreck near Basalt snarls traffic; driver injured

Aspen Times staff report
Basalt, CO Colorado
Scott Condon | The Aspen TimesBasalt firefighters clean up Highway 82 after an accident Thursday morning. The driver of the van escaped with minor injuries.

BASALT, Colorado ” The driver of a van was injured when he rear-ended another vehicle and rolled at a Basalt-area stoplight during rush hour on Highway 82 Thursday.

The crash looked horrific because the van was smashed and came to rest on its top.

“It looked like that van exploded,” said Basalt Police Officer Penny Paxton, who investigated the wreck. Debris was scattered for at least 50 yards and across several lanes of Highway 82.

The driver of the van was the only person in that vehicle. His injuries weren’t life threatening, Paxton said. Basalt firefighters had to pull him out of the back hatch of the overturned vehicle. The department responded with 17 people, two engines and an ambulance.

It was fortunate more people weren’t hurt in the accident, Paxton said. The accident occurred at the intersection of Highway 82 and Original Road during heavy commuter traffic.

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The van was westbound on the highway. The traffic signal had just turned green and vehicles were accelerating when the van came up on them at a high rate of speed ” probably 60 to 65 mph, Paxton said. The driver attempted to avoid a Dodge pickup but his right front fender smacked the rear left fender of the pickup. The van rolled one and a half times and ended up facing upvalley in a left-turn lane for the Midvalley Medical Clinic.

Had any vehicles had been in the turn lane, they would have been hit by the tumbling van, Paxton said.

The two occupants of the pickup were uninjured.

Paxton didn’t have the name of the van driver because he was taken to Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs, so she hadn’t talked to him. She said she will cite him for careless driving causing bodily injury.

Aspen-bound traffic was snarled from about 8 a.m. until 10:30 a.m.

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