One dead in 50-car pileup on Vail Pass |

One dead in 50-car pileup on Vail Pass

VAIL PASS ” One person was killed Monday afternoon in a 50-car pileup on the west side of Vail Pass, the Colorado State Patrol says.

Other drivers have been seriously injured and Interstate 70 is closed in both directions, authorities say.

Some patients have been transported to St. Anthony’s Summit Medical Center for treatment.

“So far we have one patient in critical condition and two more patients just arrived at our emergency room,” said Bev Lilly, the public information officer at Summit Medical Center.

Traffic began backing up when the accident occurred around 1:20 p.m. The state patrol is asking drivers to avoid the area.

Around 2:30 p.m., traffic was backed up on the interstate to the main Vail exit, said Kris Friel, spokeswoman for the town of Vail. Cars are being diverted from the interstate at that exit, but the roundabout on South Frontage Road is clogged, Friel said.

Parking is now free in both Vail Village and Lionshead parking structures for stranded travelers, Friel said.

Eastbound traffic on the South Frontage Road is being stopped at Ford Park, and people are being told to return to the parking structures, Friel said. East Vail residents may continue on the road, but will be stopped at Ford Park first, she said.

Officials gave no indication of when the freeway would re-open.

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