Serious injuries in head-on collision

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— The Colorado State Patrol suspects two serious car crashes on U.S. Highway 40 this week may have been caused by drivers who fell asleep at the wheel.

The most serious crash occurred at about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday near mile marker 118 west of Milner, where U.S. Highway 40 has two eastbound lanes. Trooper W. Kartus said 60-year-old Mark Holder, of Denver, was driving his Pontiac sedan west when he crossed the centerline and collided with a Ford F150 pickup. The Pontiac spun around and blocked U.S. 40. A semi-trailer also was involved in the crash when it ran over a wheel that came off the pickup.

Kartus said Holder was pinned under the steering wheel of his car and had to be extracted by West Routt Fire Protection District firefighters. Holder was taken to Yampa Valley Medical Center with serious injuries and was cited for careless driving. Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue firefighters helped the two people in the pickup, but they were not taken to YVMC.

Kartus said officers think Holder fell asleep while driving because there were no signs of him braking or aggressively steering to avoid the collision.

The other crash occurred at about 6:30 a.m. Monday near mile marker 117 west of Milner. Kartus said the passenger in the car reported the driver had fallen asleep and lost control when the passenger woke up the driver. The car rolled one time. West Routt firefighters responded, but no one was taken to the hospital. The driver was cited for careless driving.

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