Medical issues trigger two car crashes, one fatality in Basalt area |

Medical issues trigger two car crashes, one fatality in Basalt area

Two medical problems led to car crashes in the midvalley Friday, with one of the drivers passing away, authorities said.

The Basalt Fire Department was called 15 miles up the Fryingpan Valley at about 10:42 a.m. for a report of an unresponsive man at the wheel of a vehicle. An Eagle County Deputy who was patrolling the valley was 7 miles away from the scene at the time and arrived there first.

“He found an unconscious male in the driver’s seat,” said Deputy Fire Chief Pete Bradshaw. The deputy and a bystander broke a window to get the man out of the vehicle. The deputy performed CPR until an ambulance crew arrived, but the man could not be revived. He was pronounced dead on the scene.

No information was available from the Eagle County Coroner’s Office Friday on the man’s identity or where he lived. Responders estimated he was in his 60s or 70s.

Bradshaw said the vehicle sustained only light damage in the incident. It was just off the roadway on a hillside and hung up on brush near the intersection of McLaughlin Road and Fryingpan Road.

Earlier in the day, a woman blacked out on South Side Drive after delivering a student to Basalt High School, Bradshaw said. The woman was driving north of the school when she lost vision and blacked out, Bradshaw said. A 14-year-old passenger in the front seat grabbed the steering wheel and “intervened enough to prevent a crash,” Bradshaw said.

The car ended up in a field west of South Side Drive. None of the three occupants was injured from the crash and two students were taken to Basalt Middle School by the school resource officer. The driver was transported to a hospital to be checked out.

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