Snow, at last — and of course I-70 is treacherous
Snow was finally falling in the Colorado Rockies on Thursday, a relief for ski resorts, but it also means difficult conditions for motorists, particularly those on Interstate 70.
By late afternoon, I-70 had experienced several closures in both directions between El Rancho and Vail, with multiple crashes and icy conditions. Crashes closed both lanes on I-70 at the Vail Pass Summit for the better part of the afternoon and the traction law was enforced on stretches of I-70 and US Highway 6 on Loveland Pass.
At 5 p.m., the Colorado Department of Transportation said the interstate was open from Golden to Utah.
Summitdaily.com reported that a driver died late Thursday morning after plunging more than 100 feet from the cliffs on Ptarmigan Trail road in Silverthorne. The vehicle rotated in the air and landed on its roof on westbound Interstate 70. No other fatalities were immediately reported.
A spokesman for the Colorado State Patrol said the cause of the crash was still being investigated. Both directions of I-70 were briefly closed but eastbound reopened around 1:30 p.m., while westbound remained closed while crews worked to clear the wreckage.
Snow had started falling in Aspen, also, though Aspen Skiing Co. told employees that a Thanksgiving Day opening seemed unlikely.
The town of Aspen was likely to pick up a couple of inches of snow.
In Glenwood Springs and Carbondale, only light snow was falling. The National Weather Service in Grand Junction said total daytime snow accumulation would be a half inch to an inch in the communities, with another half-inch likely in the evening, when temperatures were expected to drop into the teens.
And it was snowing at Sunlight Mountain, south of Glenwood:
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The Garfield County coroner has identified the pedestrian who was killed in a one-vehicle crash on Highway 6 in Rifle Wednesday morning.