Steamboat Springs Recent snowfall may have melted off the streets by noon Thursday, but the slippery stuff already had caused numerous accidents a few hours earlier.
As the morning traffic cleared, law enforcement agencies had dealt with two head-on collisions and three rollover accidents. No one was seriously injured.
"Motorists need to be aware of existing conditions," said Steamboat Springs Sgt. Joel Rae. "They need to make sure they don't drive too fast for conditions."
The first accident occurred about 6:45 a.m. when an empty school bus collided with a sport utility vehicle on U.S. 40 at Milner Hill, said state trooper Brad Keadle, who responded to the accident.
Isaias Perez, 53, of Craig was headed eastbound on the highway when he lost control of his Ford Explorer, Keadle said.
Perez's vehicle then collided with a school bus being driven by Don Platt, 43, of Steamboat Springs.
Perez, along with a passenger, were taken to Yampa Valley Medical Center for minor back and neck injuries, Keadle said.
Everyone involved in the accident was wearing a seat belt. Perez was cited for careless driving, Keadle said.
Both vehicles sustained extensive damage.
About 15 minutes later, a three-car accident occurred on Colorado 131. Jess Schaper, 25, of Denver was headed north in a mid-sized moving truck when he lost control of the vehicle, said state trooper Ryan Parker, who responded to the wreck.
Schaper's vehicle collided head-on with a southbound 1997 Ford Escort station wagon being driven by Kristi Polniak, 46, of Milner, Parker said.
Polniak's vehicle then was hit from behind by a southbound vehicle being driven by Susan Doughty, 30, of Oak Creek.
"Polniak's car is totaled," Parker said.
Polniak was the only one who suffered any injuries. She was taken to Yampa Valley Medical Center with a sore knee.
"People need to remember when the roads are slushy and icy, they need to back off," Parker said. "They need to be aware of oncoming traffic and the traffic in front of them.
"People need to start giving them self extra time to get to work. We want everyone to be safe out there."
Air bags in Schaper's and Polniak's vehicles deployed. The air bag in Doughty's Mazda SUV did not, however, the trooper said.
Schaper and Doughty were each cited for careless driving.
Following that accident, Parker responded at about 7:30 a.m. to a one-car roll-over farther south on Colo. 131.
Vern Blaine, 49, was headed south just south of Yampa when he lost control of his van.
The Washington man's vehicle spun off the road and rolled over, Parker said. The van came to a rest on its driver's side. Blaine was not injured, but he was cited for improper mountain driving.
Parker then responded to a similar accident about 8:15 a.m., when a 1978 Jeep Cherokee being driven by Tim Trumble rolled over on County Road 14. Trumble was not injured but was cited for careless driving.
Steamboat Springs police responded to one accident about 8 a.m. Thursday on Walton Creek Road, Rae said.
Mary Johnson, 24, of Steamboat Springs was southbound on Walton Creek Road when she apparently lost control of her 1995 Jeep Cherokee.
"The vehicle slid off the right side of the road and rolled on to its left side," Rae said.
Johnson was not injured but was cited for driving too fast for conditions.
To reach Gary E. Salazar call 871-4205 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org