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Severe Personal Injuries In Highway 82 Auto Accident

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tahoeHighway 82 outside Carbondale, Colorado was the scene of an auto accident that injured five people when the driver of an SUV lost control of her vehicle, Monday morning. The Aspen Times brings us some details of the crash:

The collision occurred at about 8:30 a.m., when an eastbound Chevy Tahoe driven by Michelle Smith of Glenwood Springs went out of control and slid through the median into the westbound lanes of the highway, the patrol said. Her vehicle collided with a Cadillac Escalade driven by Christopher Welde of Basalt.

This description takes on a new dimension when followed up with this excerpt from Scott Condon’s piece about the accident in Glenwood Springs Post Independent:

The collision was one of the most violent that veteran rescuers with the Basalt Fire Department said they have seen.

‘That [Tahoe] took a direct hit. It bent the frame into the gas tank,’ said Basalt Deputy Fire Chief Jerry Peetz.

The first fire officer to arrive on the scene reported that gas was leaking from the vehicle’s ruptured tank, raising the risk of an explosion. ‘We took care of it right away,’ Peetz said.

The driver’s side door took the brunt of the collision, and the door was bent into the driver. The entire front end of the Cadillac Escalade was obliterated by the impact, Peetz said.

After the occupants of the vehicles were extracted from the twisted metal of the wreck, several of them required hospital attention. Cpl. Shauna Swale of the Colorado State Patrol stated that the driver of the Tahoe and  her front-seat passenger suffered potentially life-threatening personal injuries.

Swale said that Smith underwent surgery for various injuries, along with his front-seat passenger who sustained a head injury in the accident. The passenger’s name was not released because she is a juvenile.

The occupants of the Escalade were also injured, although not as badly as those in the Tahoe. Welde suffered a severe leg injury and was treated and released from Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs, CO. His passenger was also treated and released from the hospital.

While the occupants of the Escalade were wearing seat blets, investigators are still unsure whether those in the Tahoe were wearing theirs.

The investigation continues and Colorado police have stated that charges are pending.

Image by Goon Squad Sarah, used under its Creative Commons license


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