Police respond to 2 crashes Sunday
Slick conditions hit local roads; snow expected to stop today
December 14, 2009
Steamboat Springs — A 41-year-old man was taken to the hospital after two Jeeps collided Sunday afternoon at Pine Grove Road and U.S. Highway 40.
Steamboat Springs Police Department officer Doug Scherar said the 41-year-old's white Jeep was crossing Pine Grove Road at about 12:30 p.m. when a red Jeep struck it after not stopping at a red light while northbound on U.S. 40.
The 41-year-old was taken by ambulance to Yampa Valley Medical Center with minor injuries, for precautionary reasons.
Scherar said the driver of the red Jeep, a 21-year-old man, said he slid through the red light.
"It's been crappy conditions all day, and we haven't had an accident until now," Scherar said about the weather. "You don't slide through intersections and cause that much damage unless you're moving."
Scherar said the driver of the red Jeep was issued a citation for careless driving causing injury.
Sgt. Dale Coyner said the department responded to another car wreck Sunday, a two-vehicle noninjury crash at Walton Creek Road and U.S. 40.
In addition to the two collisions, Routt County dispatch said officers and Routt County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to four to six vehicles sliding off roads.
Colorado State Patrol Sgt. Scott Elliott said troopers were called to car crashes in Rio Blanco and Moffat counties Sunday, but none in Routt.
Coyner reminded drivers to slow down and leave enough time to reach a destination. He recommended that drivers properly clear snow from all windows, headlights and taillights and warm up their car before driving. Coyner recommended that cars be equipped with snow tires, and vans and trucks have weight in them. He said for regional trips, drivers should make sure they have warm clothing, gloves and hats.
But most importantly, Coyner said, drivers must be defensive.
"Don't automatically assume in weather like this and with slick road conditions that other drivers will stop at lights and stop signs," he said. "Don't assume other drivers see you. Be prepared for the unexpected. A lot of times you can avoid what would be a nasty accident."
Tom Renwick, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service's office in Grand Junction, said as of 7 a.m. Sunday, Steamboat had received 4 inches of snow since Saturday. Renwick said he expected about four more inches to fall before a winter storm advisory expired at 9 a.m. today.
He said wind from the southwest wasn't conducive to Steamboat getting a lot of snow, but that wasn't the case for all of Routt County.
"The surrounding areas, up in the mountains, have gotten reports of 8 to 10 inches," Renwick said. "I wouldn't be surprised for some areas to have gotten more than a foot."
He said those areas include Steamboat Ski Area, Columbine and Clark in North Routt County, and Oak Creek.
Renwick said some regional areas were under winter storm warnings Sunday.
Those areas include Columbine, which was projected to get nine to 15 inches of snow overnight.
Renwick said snow would continue falling in Steamboat until this morning but wouldn't pick up again until Thursday, when very little snow is predicted to fall.