Wrecks clog I-70 as spring snowstorm dumps | VailDaily.com

Wrecks clog I-70 as spring snowstorm dumps

Robert Allen
Summit Daily News
Vail, CO Colorado
Summit Daily/Mark FoxA Saab SUV and a trailer carrying a motorcycle and personal belongings sit on the side of westbound I-70 just down from the tunnel following an accident Friday afternoon. Adverse driving conditions caused the SUV to slam into the back of the trailer causing the trailer to become unhitched from the pickup towing it. No serious injuries were reported in the incident.

SUMMIT COUNTY – Two wrecks early Friday afternoon clogged traffic in both directions on Interstate 70 west of the Eisenhower tunnel.

A man was seriously injured and taken to St. Anthony Summit Medical Center in Frisco after he was ejected from the pick-up truck he was driving eastbound toward the tunnel, according to Summit County Ambulance Service.

“There were slick roads and he just lost control of the vehicle, and it rolled,” said Steve Lipsher, spokesman for Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue, which responded to the incident.

The man was the vehicle’s sole occupant.

On the westbound side – about a mile up the hill from the first wreck – a Saab sport-utility vehicle rear-ended a motorcycle trailer pulled by a Toyota Tundra. The woman driving the Saab sustained a minor wrist injury, according to Colorado State Patrol.

The trailer smashed into the Tundra’s bumper, becoming unhitched and ultimately coming to rest on the side of the road.

Hazardous conditions along I-70 from Vail Pass to the tunnel ran the gamut of slushy, snow, snow-packed, icy and wet as a spring storm dumped several inches.

“Drive at a prudent speed,” Lipsher said of such conditions. “What we see this time of year is that you get lulled into a sense of complacency. It gets warm, roads are dry – no problem.”

Then a storm like the one Friday arrives, “that slush is greasy and it just turns everything into a really treacherous situation,” he said.

Several other accidents occurred along the corridor later on Friday.

The snow is to continue falling Saturday morning, with a 30-50 percent chance of snowfall between Saturday night and Sunday night.

Temperatures this weekend are to range from the low-20s to mid-40s.

An avalanche watch is in effect until 10 a.m. Saturday for Vail and Summit counties as well as the Front Range, and up to two feet of snow could fall on areas east of the Continental Divide.

“If forecast snow verifies, then avalanche danger could become high in the watch area on Saturday,” according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center at http://avalanche.state.co.us.

Robert Allen can be contacted at (970) 668-4628 or rallen@summitdaily.com.

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