Basalt couple injured in head-on collision
BASALT, Colorado ” A Basalt couple was seriously injured Thursday night when their vehicle was hit head-on by another car on Two Rivers Road about 1 mile west of downtown Basalt.
John “Jeff” Reese and Susan Grove had to be extricated from their Jeep Cherokee, according Basalt Police Chief Keith Ikeda. Grove was taken to Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs and Reese was taken to Aspen Valley Hospital. They suffered “serious bodily injury,” according to a press release from the police department.
A man in the other vehicle also was seriously injured and taken to Valley View, police said. His name wasn’t released by police.
The accident occurred at about 10:45 p.m. A vehicle, identified by Basalt police as a black Chevrolet Blazer, crossed the center line and struck the Jeep of Reese and Grove, who are married. The impact nearly knocked the Jeep into the Roaring Fork River, according to Cleve Williams, the incident commander for the Basalt Fire Department.
There was conflicting information about the make and model of the other vehicle. Williams said it was a black Ford Explorer.
Crews had to secure the Jeep before they could extricate Reese and Grove, Williams said. “We basically tied the cars together.”
Firefighters and paramedics found a male lying on the road outside of the black vehicle. “I don’t know if he was ejected or got out,” Williams said.
All three victims of the crash were in and out of consciousness at the scene. “I think all of them were life-threatening injuries,” Williams said.
A dog in Reese and Grove’s car died at the scene.
Ikeda said Basalt police are investigating if another person was in the black SUV at the time of the accident. A witness saw someone walking down the road, Ikeda said. Alcohol is also being investigated as a possible contributing factor in the crash with the driver of the black Blazer. “There were signs of alcohol,” Ikeda said.
He wouldn’t elaborate on the investigation.
Fifteen firefighters and paramedics responded to the scene from the Basalt Fire Department. They were assisted by a paramedic from the Carbondale Fire Department.
Two Rivers Road was closed during the emergency response and investigation. Authorities said it was reopened between 12:30 and 1 a.m. Friday.
This story will be updated as information becomes available.
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State department of transportation crews are well on their way to clearing Highway 82 to Independence Pass, which should open on schedule May 27 at noon.