6-car pileup on 40

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Snowy road conditions and excessive speed contributed to a six-vehicle pileup outside Milner on Friday.

The 7:15 a.m. accident tied up U.S. Highway 40 near milepost 119 for three and a half hours, according to the Colorado State Patrol, but none of the eight people involved in the accident was injured, and just two cars were towed.

The early morning accident was the worst in Routt County, which had its first snowstorm of the season Thursday night. The state patrol said many vehicles slid off the road Friday morning, but the only accident reported was the six-vehicle pileup.

In the city, the only accidents reported were those of two separate vehicles running into the medians on U.S. 40.

Steamboat Springs Assistant Police Chief Art Fiebing said he has seen worse days stemming from the first snowstorms of the year. Fiebing said there have been days with as many as 30 accidents, he said.

"For our first storm of the season, I think it went pretty well," Fiebing said.

The State Patrol, police department and sheriff's office expressed the need for driving slowly in snowy conditions.

"It's a good time to start checking vehicles, making sure they are ready for winter, and leaving early and taking your time," Fiebing said.

State Patrol Trooper Chris Tafoya said driving too fast on snowy roads was a major contributor to the six-car pileup just east of the Mount Harris Canyon.

Gail Shaffer, 31, of Hayden was heading eastbound on U.S. 40 and began to spin clockwise on the snowy road, State Patrol said. Her 1999 Ford Escort skidded to a stop in the opposite lane facing west, State Patrol reported.

Thomas J. Duran also was heading eastbound on U.S. 40. He was driving a 2000 Chevy pickup and there were four cars between him and the stopped Escort. As he slowed down to avoid the car in front of him, Duran spun counterclockwise and hit the rear of a 2003 Chevy Silverado, according to State Patrol. Duran's vehicle stopped facing the eastbound guardrail.

His accident set off a chain-reaction.

The Silverado's driver, Ty Stewart, 35, of Craig spun clockwise and hit the rear of a trailer being towed by a Dodge Ram.

The Dodge Ram, driven by Patricia Mosbey, 51, of Craig started to jack-knife, the truck moved counterclockwise, and the trailer moved clockwise, according to the State Patrol.

Mosbey then hit the passenger side of a Toyota pickup driven by Scott Gullett, 48, of Hayden.

The State Patrol said Gullett was moving very slowly or not at all, but the impact from the hit caused Gullett's front end to ram into the front of the vehicle that initiated the accident. The Ford Escort was pushed into the eastbound guardrail.

The Dodge Ram with the trailer continued traveling eastbound and hit the driver's side of a 2003 Chevy Trail Blazer, which also was heading eastbound on U.S. 40. Mosbey hit the Blazer, driven by Jayme Armbruster, 47, of Elizabeth with the passenger side of the trailer, State Patrol said.

No one was thrown from the vehicles, and everyone was wearing seat belts. The Ford Escort and Duran's Chevy pickup were towed.

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