Hayden student critically injured

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A 17-year-old Hayden girl was critically injured Thursday morning when the car she was driving hit a tractor-trailer on Routt County Road 27.

Danielle Joy Laird reportedly was driving a 1989 Jeep Cherokee southbound on C.R. 27 when her car skidded on a patch of ice and slid into the path of a westbound tractor-trailer driven by 55-year-old Samuel Earl Arnold of Grand Junction.

Laird is a Hayden High School student and a longtime member of the Hayden Girl Scouts troop.

West Routt Fire and Ambulance crews worked for about an hour to free Laird from the vehicle. She was taken to Yampa Valley Medical Center where she was in critical condition before being transferred to another hospital. It is unclear which hospital is caring for her injuries, or her current condition.

Arnold, who had just completed a delivery to the Twentymile coal mine, was not injured.

Laird reportedly had just entered a sweeping curve in the road when her car hit the ice. Arnold reportedly tried to avoid the Jeep. Evidence at the scene indicated the tractor-trailer veered partially off the roadway before the collision.

The Jeep came to rest about 70 feet from the collision spot. The tractor-trailer ended up jackknifed on the edge of the road, more than 100 feet from where the crash happened.

C.R. 27 was closed in both directions for about an hour after rescue crews arrived on the scene.

-- To reach Tamera Manzanares call 871-4204 or e-mail tmanzanares@steamboatpilot.com

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