Icy roads cause multiple accidents
EDWARDS – A winter storm that blew through the area over the weekend contributed to an estimated 60 accidents Saturday night, including one fatality.Mabel Fortin, 90, of Thornton, was killed when the car she was riding in spun out of control near Edwards and collided with two oncoming cars. Several local residents were injured in that accident as well. Vail and Beaver Creek mountains received more than three feet of snow out of the storm, which began Thursday night. The bulk of that snow came Saturday night, causing many crashes on Interstate 70 and U.S. Highway 6. Local emergency service officials placed the county on accident alert that night. That occurs when so many accidents happen that anyone involved minor car wrecks – those with no injuries, not involving alcohol and in which all drivers have insurance – are allowed to exchange information and leave. “We had multiple occasions of vehicles sliding off the road,” State Patrol Sgt. Shawn Olmstead said. Olmstead estimated there were about 60 accidents Saturday. Many are still under investigation, he said. Desmond Collerman of Aliso Viejo, Calif., was driving the 2000 Lincoln Continental involved in the fatality. He was traveling west on I-70 when he lost control of the car and skidded through the median into the eastbound lanes of I-70. Collerman’s car collided with a Ford F-250 truck driven by Da Sherpa of Gypsum, then hit a Volkswagen Jetta driven by Laura Lopez of Avon, according to a State Patrol report. Fortin, who was killed in the crash, was the backseat passenger in Collerman’s car. Another of his passengers, Carol Bollig, also of Aliso Viejo, Calif., received serious, but not life-threatening, injuries in the accident, according to a State Patrol report. Sherpa and his passenger, Nina Sherpa, also of Gypsum, were not injured. Lopez and her passenger, four-year-old Laura Carina, also of Avon, were taken to Vail Valley Medical Center for treatment. Lopez’s injuries were severe and Carina’s were moderate, according to the report. Fortin was reportedly moving to California to live with family when she was killed, Olmstead said. Collerman was charged with careless driving resulting in death, which is a misdemeanor. The icy roads forced travelers to drive far below the speed limit in most places. Collerman was driving 55 mph when his car spun off the road, according to the report. It wasn’t slow enough. “Nowhere slow enough,” Olmstead said. “I would say a safe speed, in my opinion, would have been about 35 mph, if that.”Drivers must slow down in icy conditions and keep a large distance between their car and the car in front of them. A car-length is suggested during ideal conditions, but more is needed when the roads are icy, he said. Drivers must slow down in icy conditions and keep a large distance between their car and the car in front of them. A car-length is suggested during ideal conditions, but more is needed when the roads are icy, he said.
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