Multiple accidents cause traffic standstill on I-70
Post Independent Staff
NEW CASTLE ” If you were driving ” creeping, actually ” from New Castle to Glenwood Springs on Interstate 70 Wednesday morning, one word may have come to mind: Stuck.
Speed and poor road conditions in yesterday’s snowstorm contributed to three accidents at milepost 112 on eastbound I-70 at about 8:30 a.m., closing the freeway’s eastbound lanes and snarling traffic for several hours, according to Colorado State Patrol Captain Rich Duran.
Though traffic heading east didn’t move for more than an hour, westbound lanes were not affected.
Katherine Narvez, 29, of New Castle, was the first to lose control of her vehicle. Excessive speed on the slick roadway caused her 2003 Chrysler van to hit the freeway’s center concrete barrier. The van was deflected into the road’s right shoulder, where it stopped.
Though her van sustained heavy damage, Narvez was uninjured, and police did not cite her.
Nearby, and shortly after Narvez’s accident, New Castle resident Tabitha Berger, 18, lost control of her blue Mazda and hit the freeway’s south guardrail. The car veered left across the eastbound lanes and hit a Dodge Durango driven by Jimmie Hunter, 48, of Castle Rock.
The Mazda hit the center concrete barrier and stopped, facing north. Berger, a male passenger and Hunter were uninjured. Though Berger’s car sustained damage and had to be towed away, Hunter drove away from the scene.
No citations were issued in the accident.
A final accident happened nearby when traffic began to slow for police, who were mopping up the other two accidents.
A tractor-trailer rear-ended a Chevrolet van driven by Dean Kulppi, 44, of Grand Junction and collided with another van driven by Kim Fetterhoff, 44, of New Castle.
Fetterhoff’s van was pushed to the left and collided with a Ford truck, driven by Raymond Gooch, 60, of Grand Junction. The truck then jack-knifed, came to a stop and blocked traffic in both eastbound lanes.
Kulppi, Fetterhoff, Gooch and the truck’s driver, William Trujillo, 57, of Fruita, were also uninjured. Trujillo was cited for following too closely, Duran said.
One eastbound lane of I-70 was reopened at 9:43 a.m., he said. The ensuing traffic bottleneck and all three accidents had been cleared by about noon.
Contact Bobby Magill: 945-8515, ext. 520
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