Accidents Galore on I-225 and I-70 Through Aurora
I-225 and I-70 — through Aurora, specifically — have consistently been the scene of far too many serious accidents.
Last Saturday, five people were injured and one was killed in a an accident on I-225 near its intersection with I-70 in Aurora. The crash closed the highway down for five hours. While intoxicants do not seem to have been involved, there is a possibility that excessive speed was a contributing factor.
Ryan Budnick, an Assignment Producer for ABC’s The Denver Channel, provides some details of the fatal accident:
One of the vehicles, a 1996 Nissan Pathfinder, was found lying on its roof near the concrete barricade. The driver of the Pathfinder has been identified as 42-year-old Johnnie Hines, of Denver. He was found inside the vehicle with an adult female and two children, ages 16 and 4. Two 8-year-old children were ejected and were found lying near the concrete barrier. Hines was pronounced dead at the scene. The additional five passengers were transported to area hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries.
That incident, as horrible as it may be, is far from an isolated case. As I mentioned above, this area of highway is known for having an extraordinary rate of speed-based car accidents. The authorities are well aware of this, as Tom McGhee, a reporter for The Denver Post, noted in an article on this very subject. He quotes Aurora, Colorado Police Lt. Charles DeShazer:
‘I don’t know what it is about that part of the road that it just becomes the Autobahn…I have worked the other side of the road, and 70 and up is the norm.’
As the rate of speed increases, so does the potential for serious personal injuries or fatalities. This was a major reason behind the 55 mph speed limit change back in the 1970s. As a matter of fact, just a short time before this accident, a pair of off duty motorcycle officers chased and lost a driver who was averaging 90 mph.
The situation has gotten bad enough to attract attention at the state level. One true sign of how bad it’s become on I-225 and I-70 through Aurora: even in these economically strained times, it has received a budget allocation. McGhee continues:
Speeding is such a concern on sections of I-70 and I-225 through Aurora that the Colorado Department of Transportation recently awarded Aurora police a $50,000 grant to address the problem.
In 2009, speeding contributed to 514 accidents — 70 percent of the 733 total crashes on the interstates that lie within the city limits, according to Aurora police statistics. Nearly 40 percent of accidents on the highways in Aurora resulted in injuries, compared with only 7 percent citywide.
View I-225 at I-70 in Aurora, Colorado in a larger map