Man killed in Highway 82 head-on |

Man killed in Highway 82 head-on

Aspen Times staff report
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

An El Jebel man was killed Tuesday after his car crossed the centerline of Highway 82 at Wingo Junction and plowed into another vehicle.

The victim was identified by the Pitkin County Coroner’s office as Jose Maximiliano Nachado Andrade, 21. He was originally a resident of El Salvador, a press release from the coroner’s office said, and he was headed to work at an Aspen restaurant at the time of the crash.

He was the sole occupant of a car headed east or upvalley at about 2:05 p.m. His blue sedan struck a white station wagon driving west or downvalley, authorities said. The driver and sole occupant of the white vehicle was taken to a hospital by a Basalt ambulance. Her injuries didn’t appear life threatening, said Basalt Fire Chief Scott Thompson.

Andrade wasn’t breathing and had no pulse when the first responders from the Basalt Fire Department arrived on the scene, Thompson said. “It was very apparent it was a fatality,” he said.

The coroner’s office said Andrade died instantly. An autopsy will determine the exact cause of death.

Neither of the drivers was ejected from their vehicles. It appeared both were wearing seat belts, Thompson said. The front end of their cars were demolished by the high-speed impact. The crash could have been worse, according to officials at the scene. At least one other vehicle dodged the blue sedan after it crossed the centerline.

The results of the state patrol’s investigation weren’t available as of 8:30 p.m. It was unknown why Andrade crossed the centerline.

His blue sedan came to rest on the north shoulder, on the right of the westbound traffic lanes. The white station wagon came to rest in the right westbound lane. The accident scene was about 100 yards downvalley from the Rio Grande Trail pedestrian bridge over Highway 82. That is close to mile marker 25 on the highway.

Officials from the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office and Basalt Police Department directed traffic by the accident scene. The carnage was shielded from passing motorists on Highway 82 by strategically placed fire trucks. A red tarp was placed over the blue car while the Pitkin County coroner’s office responded to investigate the scene.

Downvalley-bound traffic was reduced to one lane during most of the clean-up and vehicles were backed up for a few miles. All lanes were opened by 4:30 p.m.

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