Wreck kills one on US 40 west of Steamboat

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— A 32-year-old Steamboat Springs woman died from injuries suffered in a two-vehicle wreck Saturday evening on U.S. Highway 40.

The wreck occurred at about 6:25 p.m. on U.S. 40 between Milner and Hayden, according to the Colorado State Patrol. A Nissan SUV was heading east on U.S. 40 near mile marker 117, leaving Mount Harris Canyon, when it spun out of control, State Patrol Sgt. Scott Elliott said. The SUV started to fishtail, entered the westbound lane and was hit broadside by a Dodge Ram pickup, he said.

Jenna Gruben, one of the passengers in the Nissan Xterra, was hospitalized and later died, Elliott said.

The Nissan was being driven by Angelica Mangiardi, 33, of Steamboat. Cara Marrs, 40, of Steamboat, also was a passenger in the Xterra. Mangiardi and Marrs were transported to Yampa Valley Medical Center and later released, according to a State Patrol news release.

The driver of the Dodge pickup, Wesley Jenkins of Craig, and his passenger, Denise Ketchum of Craig, sustained minor injuries in the crash and declined medical treatment, according to the State Patrol.

Neither drugs nor alcohol are suspected factors in the crash. The State Patrol says driving too fast for the conditions likely was the primary contributing factor.

The accident was the most serious of a spate of car wrecks Saturday afternoon and evening amid snowfall and icy roads.

Sgt. Seth Merrick of the Routt County Sheriff’s Office said he'd responded to several. Merrick said the wrecks started at about 3:30 p.m.

“There’s a lot,” he said. “It’s just kind of that perfect condition where the roads stayed a little bit slushy and as it started to freeze, people started sliding off the road.”

He said that several occurred near mile marker 142 on U.S. 40, on Rabbit Ears Pass, but that most resulted in no injuries and little property damage.

Comments

Amy Harris 4 years, 6 months ago

What a beautiful and kind person to be taken away too soon. We will miss you so very much dear Jenna.

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