The July 2009 death of Lorna Farrow on this stretch of U.S. Highway 40 prompted the Colorado Department of Transportation to lower the speed limit and improve sight distance.

Photo by Matt Stensland

The July 2009 death of Lorna Farrow on this stretch of U.S. Highway 40 prompted the Colorado Department of Transportation to lower the speed limit and improve sight distance.

Speed lowered near fatal crash site in Steamboat

Area along US 40 altered for better sight distances for motorists

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— Highway officials have lowered the speed limit and are busy lowering the embankments on the stretch of U.S. Highway 40 where a Steamboat Springs resident was killed last year.

A Colorado Department of Transportation spokeswoman said the lowered embankments near mile marker 127 will help improve sight distance around the curve and turnout areas near where Lorna Farrow was killed by a dump truck in July.

After that project is complete, more work may come in future years as funding becomes available, Routt County Commissioner Dia­ne Mitsch Bush said.

Farrow was str­uck July 28 while checking her mailbox along U.S. 40. A dump truck traveling west on U.S. 40 swerved to avoid hitting a Jeep that had slowed to turn left into the Riverbend Cabins.

Farrow, 58, co-owned Farrow Repair Service at that location with her husband, Gary, and brother-in-law, Dusty.

The accident prompted a community meeting in Sept­ember where residents and politicians came up with several solutions including reducing the speed limit and trimming trees in the area to improve sight distances.

Regional CDOT spokeswoman Nancy Shanks said crews are lowering the embankment on the south side of the road and will soon finish landscaping work at the site.

As a result of a speed study in the area prompted by the community meeting, the speed limit was also reduced from 55 to 50 for about a half-mile in each direction.

Colorado State Patrol Sgt. Scott Elliott said he has noticed drivers slowing down in the area as a result of the change. Asking State Pat­rol troopers to conduct extra patrols in that area also was a consideration, but Elliott said that request has not come to him.

Mitsch Bush said the intersection likely will be discussed again at a Thursday meeting with CDOT staffers and that adding a turn lane is among the possibilities.

“There is some money now from the transportation commission for all the intersections in our whole five-county region, so the question becomes what can we do with that,” she said.

Comments

justice4all 4 years, 8 months ago

Just a shame that something so tragic has to happen to get something done. Thanks to the DOT for doing this. I am really disappointed but not surprised to hear that the DA requested that Gary Farrow, the husband of the deceased, agree to a short amount of time in community service for the man that kiled his wife, as punishment for his crime. If it was DA Oldamn's husband that was kiled would she think this was adequate? What if it was her x--Paul McLimas?

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Sara Gleason 4 years, 8 months ago

This has been one of the worst places in the county for a long time. I work with someone who had his perfectly functioning car smashed up here, and now has to make a car payment every month because someone wasn't paying attention when they pulled out of the Steamboat II stop sign. I know that I've nearly been run down and have been passed on the right on multiple occasions on this stretch by drivers who don't think that the people in the other car are important enough to take an extra five minutes to slow down for. Lowering the speed limit a year after the worst case scenerio is a pathetic attempt at responsibility by CDOT, but this is a step in the right direction. In order to enforce it, you have to actually issue tickets. Believe me, I hate traffic violations funding our state and county law enforcement agencies, but this is a stretch of road that requires consistent enforcement in order to protect and serve the citizens who drive by here on a regular basis. And, by the way, 40 to Hayden probably deserves a regular patrol due to the many road hazards and the number of drivers present. I mean, we pay taxes to support the Colorado State Patrol too, don't we?

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barkingschedule 4 years, 7 months ago

I witnessed the unfolding of this tragic event, and was one of the first people to reach dear Lorna. At the time, more than one ambulance had been dispatched to that section of road for similar accidents! The dispatcher with whom I spoke at 911 thought I was calling from a second accident which had occured farther down U.S. 40. The state troopers who arrived at the site of Lorna's accident were professional and empathetic to the family and involved citizens. The driver of the truck was despondent, and I feared for his health, as well. However, I cannot help but think the accident could have been avoided by reduced speed and more patrol. I expressed my concerns to the State Patrol, and I noticed they increased their presence for several months following the accident. Thank you. Now, please, continue your presence in this very dangerous section of highway.

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