Steamboat tow truck driver injured in crash in fair condition

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— A Steamboat Springs man was in fair condition at Yampa Valley Medical Center on Monday night after police said a woman crashed into the pickup he was preparing to tow out of a snow bank on Rabbit Ears Pass on Sunday night.

Colorado State Patrol Sgt. Scott Elliott said Colleen Stremel, of Clark, was driving west near mile marker 153 of U.S. Highway 40 just after 7 p.m. Sunday when she lost control of her Toyota SUV and slammed into the pickup that Daniel Quick, a tow truck driver with Sunshine Mountain Auto, was preparing to pull out of a snow bank. The impact from the crash forced the pickup into Quick, 49, who was then transported to Yampa Valley Medical Center with moderate injuries. A 17-year-old girl was sitting in the driver seat of her pickup when it was hit and also was taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure. Her truck had earlier slid off the road into the snow bank in icy conditions, Elliott said.

Quick “told me he was very sore, and he had a concussion following the crash,” said Sunshine Mountain Auto owner Don Gittleson, who talked to his employee at about noon on Monday. “At this point, I think he’s going to be OK.”

Following the crash, the State Patrol issued Stremel, who was not injured during the crash, a citation for careless driving resulting in injury. Elliott said Quick was not on the roadway during the crash, and had the emergency flashers and strobes of his truck turned on. Elliott said drivers always should slow down when approaching tow trucks or emergency vehicles on the side of the road, especially in poor weather.

“Drivers need to slow down on snowy and icy road conditions and be careful when they approach tow trucks and emergency vehicles,” Elliott said. “It’s also very important they have adequate snow tires for the conditions.”

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email ScottFranz@SteamboatToday.com

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