Snow causes wrecks on Hwy 82 |

Snow causes wrecks on Hwy 82

Monday’s snowfall proved better for the skiing than the driving.

Motorists struggled on Highway 82, where numerous accidents up and down the valley kept the Colorado State Patrol and local authorities busy. An overturned SUV on the side of the highway before 6:30 a.m. signaled the morning to come.

The eastbound curve toward Basalt, just upvalley from Emma, proved problematic for several motorists, most of whom slid into the concrete median barrier. The accidents occurred between 8:45 and 9:30 a.m.

“It was people driving way to fast,” said Pitkin County Sheriff’s Deputy George Kremer. The curve is “notoriously a bad spot,” he added.

A woman driving a Kia lost control and slid into the center median on the left side of the highway. Authorities were just finishing handling that mishap when three more motorists encountered similar trouble.

“We were just clearing the scene when a Jeep, a truck and a Ford Explorer all lost control coming around the curve and came straight for us,” said Basalt Police Chief Keith Ikeda.

All of them managed to miss the police chief’s squad car. Ikeda said he believed the Roto-Rooter truck and the Jeep both hit the median barrier, and the truck also clipped the Ford.

Though the right lane remained open, upvalley motorists began making U-turns where they could cross to the downvalley lanes, doubling back to take Two Rivers Road past the accident scene, Kremer said. That forced authorities to call for additional traffic control.

“People do some silly things,” Kremer said.

No one appeared seriously hurt, but the woman who drove the Kia reportedly was taken to an area hospital.

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