Semi-Trailer Going Wrong Way Causes Fatal Crash on I-70
Sunday night was the scene of another fatal car accident on I-70. A semi driven by Jason Ross of St. Louis went the wrong way down I-70 for at least nine miles with its lights off before its head-on collision with an automobile.
During that nine-mile stretch, a Limon police officer, responding to a call about the wrong-way driver, caught up to the truck by driving west in the correct lane. The officer then drove up on the median, lights and siren blaring, with no response from Ross. The officer continued to pace the semi, trying to get it to pull over, when the car accident occurred.
Chris Gallegos, a reporter for 9 News, brings us a bystander’s view of the chase:
‘The officer was in the westbound lanes with his lights on. He tried to pull him over. He crossed the median and tried to get his attention there. The truck driver never put on his brakes; he just kept going,’ said Tara Pearce of Fairplay, who was passing through the area Sunday on her way home from Kansas where she spent the holidays. ‘We were watching in horror. We knew something was going to happen and we didn’t know how to stop it or warn anyone. It was really awful.’
It was then that the fatal collision occurred. Howard Pankratz, a reporter for The Denver Post, shares the details:
That’s when Martin Hernandez, his wife and granddaughter approached in their eastbound 1993 Buick Park Avenue. They had no warning.
The impact obliterated the driver’s side of the Buick. Hernandez, 71, died — but not immediately. His wife, Maria ‘Angie’ Hernandez, 77, was listed in good condition Monday at Swedish Hospital. Their 9-year-old granddaughter, Audianna Hernandez, who was awakened in the Buick’s back seat just before the crash, was miraculously unhurt.
According to reports, the pursuing officer was quite shaken by the incident, having been powerless to prevent it. Ross was still incarcerated as of Monday afternoon. His bond was set at $100,000. KWGN posted a list of the numerous charges he is facing, which include the following:
- Vehicular Homicide
- Vehicular Assault
- Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol
- Reckless Driving
- Careless Driving Causing Injury
- Driving on the Wrong Side of a Divided Highway
- Driving with No Headlamps
The damage was stupendous. When you first see the Hernandez family vehicle, it makes you wonder how anyone could have survived.
Here is some of the video coverage of the tragedy: