Rollover victim critically injured |

Rollover victim critically injured

A 32-year-old Clifton man suffered serious injuries Monday when he rolled his 1998 Dodge four-wheel-drive pickup truck into the median on Interstate 70 six miles west of Parachute.

Rafael Contreses was driving east on the highway when his truck careened out of control and rolled 31⁄2 times, finally coming to a halt on its roof.

He was transported to St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction by ambulance because the foul weather kept the Flight for Life helicopter from flying him there, Colorado State Patrol Sgt. Rich Duran said.

Contreses was listed in critical condition Monday afternoon by St. Mary’s Hospital administrators, hospital spokeswoman Deborah Ashby said. He was in the hospital’s intensive care unit.

Contreses’ rollover was one of a string of accidents on I-70 Monday between 5 and 11 a.m. when a snowstorm swept through the valley.

“I think we had a total of eight accidents from Parachute to New Castle,” Duran said of I-70. “Seven of them were from New Castle to Silt. I think that’s where it started to ice up.”

Most of the crashes happened as drivers slid off the icy interstate onto the median or shoulders, Duran said.

“We’ve been running like crazy from crash to crash,” Duran said.

There was also a two-car accident on Highway 82 near Catherine Store, but Duran said according to reports it wasn’t too serious.

Other than that accident, no other accidents were reported on Highway 82, a fact that surprised Duran.

Glenwood Springs police chief Terry Wilson said the city’s roads were strangely quiet on Monday.

“Everybody here decided to crash on Saturday when the roads were dry,” he said. “We had two accidents (Monday morning), but neither one was what you’d call snow or ice related.”

Wilson said the biggest problem he’s seen is people forgetting to shovel the sidewalks in front of their homes and businesses.

“We want to remind people to shovel,” he said. “Under city ordinance, we require all city residents and businesses to clear sidewalks adjacent to their homes or businesses within 24 hours.”

Contact Greg Masse: 945-8515, ext. 511

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