Head-on crash on Rabbit Ears Pass injures 4
Collision closes U.S. Highway 40 in Grand County
February 26, 2012
Steamboat Springs — A head on collision on Rabbit Ears Pass in Grand County on Sunday afternoon sent four people to the hospital and temporarily closed U.S. Highway 40.
Colorado State Patrol Sgt. Scott Elliott said Andrzej Merta, 43, of Louisville, was driving eastbound on U.S. 40 with his wife and 8-year-old daughter in a Saab station wagon at about 1 p.m. when Merta lost control of the vehicle on a patch of snow and ice near mile marker 154. The vehicle went into the westbound lane and collided head-on with a Nissan Titan driven by John Withey, 42, of Steamboat Springs.
Elliot said Merta and his daughter, who was riding in the back seat, were transported to Yampa Valley Medical Center. Merta sustained serious injuries, and his daughter sustained minor injuries. Merta's wife, whose name was not immediately released, was flown by helicopter to St. Anthony's Hospital & Medical Center in Denver with serious injuries. Elliott said none of the injuries sustained in the crash were thought to be life threatening, and all of the passengers involved were wearing seat belts.
Withey was taken to YVMC with serious injuries and was treated and released Sunday afternoon, Elliott said.
He said Merta was cited for careless driving causing bodily injury, and Withey was cited for driving under restriction. All lanes of the highway were closed temporarily after the accident while emergency responders tended to the injured passengers. The highway was reopened before 4 p.m. after a few hours of alternating lane closures.
To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com