Driver hits semi head-on

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A totaled Dodge Durango sits on a tow truck on U.S. Highway 40 near Mount Harris, between Milner and Hayden, Monday evening. Colorado State Patrol Trooper Brett Hilling said the Durango's driver, a man in his mid-30s whose identification could not be confirmed Monday evening, drifted into oncoming traffic due to icy conditions and collided head-on with a semi truck.

— A sports utility vehicle collided head-on with a semitrailer in icy conditions on U.S. Highway 40 early Monday evening near Mount Harris. The driver of the SUV was listed in fair condition at Yampa Valley Medical Center, and the driver of the semitrailer and his passenger sustained minor injuries.

The wreck slowed traffic between Milner and Hayden for more than two hours Monday night.

Colorado State Patrol Trooper Brett Hilling said a man in his "mid-30s" whose identification could not be confirmed lost control of his 2003 Dodge Durango while traveling westbound on U.S. 40 at about 5 p.m. Monday. The Durango drifted into oncoming traffic near Mount Harris.

The SUV then collided head-on with a semitrailer driven by Andres Ortiz of Montebello, Calif. Both vehicles were traveling at about 50 miles per hour at the time of the accident, Hilling said. The driver of the SUV was transported to Yampa Valley Medical Center complaining of leg, neck and back injuries, Hilling said. He had to be extricated from his vehicle.

Personnel with Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue, the Colorado State Patrol and the Routt County Sheriff's Office responded to the accident.

Hilling said the driver of the Durango was wearing a seatbelt, and alcohol and drugs are not suspected to be factors in the accident.

"I'm fairly certain the seatbelt saved his life," Hilling said.

Heavy snowfall, wind and a mixture of slush and ice created treacherous driving conditions across Routt County on Monday evening.

"Slow down - it can be can deceiving," Hilling said. "And wear your seatbelt."

Comments

Angie Robinson 7 years, 2 months ago

I was following a semi up to the accident, and he could not easily stop. He fishtailed back and forth at least 6 times, until finally stoppping. I called the Steamboat Sherrif dept. to ask that the stopped traffic be better marked with a patrol car. The person I talked to, was rude and extremely defensive. I was just trying to avoid more accidents, due to poor visibility in the blowing snow.

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Hmmm 7 years, 2 months ago

lilwelder- Get a clue....it's the Steamboat Springs Police Dept. and the Routt County Sheriff's Office....not the Steamboat Sherrif (spelling?) dept. Hey everybody, stop what you're doing....lilwelder called the Steamboat Sherrif dept. and wants a patrol car moved to better assist her with stopped traffic (duh!).

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ihatestupidpeople 7 years, 2 months ago

what about west routt fire that is who responded first. steamboat was not even called until 30 mins after the call happened

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