Backup from one crash led to second wreck Sunday that closed I-70 through Glenwood Springs |

Backup from one crash led to second wreck Sunday that closed I-70 through Glenwood Springs

A multiple car pileup occurred on Interstate 70 between mileposts 114 and 116 in Glenwood Springs on Sunday.
Glenwood Springs Police Department

Two people were injured, one seriously, in back-to-back crashes on Interstate 70 in Glenwood Springs on Sunday afternoon, leading to an hour-and-a-half-long closure of the eastbound lanes.

The first wreck happened about 12:46 p.m. roughly a half-mile east of the main Glenwood Springs interchange (Exit 116) when a motorcyclist who was heading east into Glenwood Canyon was cut off by another vehicle, a Glenwood Springs Police Department spokesman said.

The motorcyclist lost control and crashed into the guardrail. He was transported to the hospital with serious injuries, GSPD Sgt. Michael Prough said Monday.

The crash victim, Kelly Harless, 67, of Dolores, died Monday morning at Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs.

The other vehicle, an SUV pulling a trailer, left the scene of the crash. It was raining hard at the time, and weather was believed to be a contributing factor, Prough said.

While eastbound traffic was down to one lane as that wreck was being cleaned up, a second crash occurred about 1:43 p.m. when an eastbound motorist attempted to pass on the right-hand shoulder at a high rate of speed.

That resulted in a chain-reaction crash involving six vehicles, Prough said.

“Speed and weather were both factors (in the second incident),” he said.

A female occupant of one of the vehicles, reported to be in her mid-20s, was transported to the hospital with minor injuries.

The driver of the vehicle who attempted to pass on the right was cited for reckless driving causing injury, Prough said.

Five of the vehicles had to be towed, he said. No additional details were available.

Eastbound I-70 was closed at Glenwood Springs until about 3:35 p.m. Sunday. The interstate closed again in both directions through Glenwood Canyon later in the evening due to a flash flood warning. It was reopened about 8:35 p.m.

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