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Massive Colorado pileup accident leaves 1 dead and 30 injured

DENVER (AP) - One person died and 30 others were injured in a massive pileup on Interstate 25 as a band of heavy snow moved through south Denver on Saturday, authorities said.

Police say 104 vehicles were involved in crashes along a roughly 2-mile stretch of highway as a short but intense burst of snow slammed the area. The northbound lanes were closed for several hours, but the interstate has since reopened. The injured were taken to nearby hospitals.

Drivers and passengers who were not hurt were put on a city bus to speak with accident investigators, and some wrecked cars were towed to a nearby high school, the Denver Post reported. Meanwhile, about 100 snowplows and four large tankers with deicing fluid were busy clearing roads throughout Denver, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation.

Meteorologists said the storm was part of the same system that has saturated California and is slowly moving across the West en route to the Plains and Mississippi Valley on Sunday.

"We're on the front leading edge of it, so there's some moisture coming up," National Weather Service meteorologist Jim Kalina said. That, combined with a cold front that moved into Colorado on Friday night, made for whiteout conditions and slick roadways across the state.

Highway officials closed the westbound lanes of a section of Interstate 70 west of Denver after treacherous road conditions led to numerous accidents. Traffic is still slow in the reopened lanes.

The transportation department warned that recently fluctuating temperatures in Colorado led to the slick road conditions, and authorities advised motorists to stock their vehicles with water, blankets, windshield wiper fluid, hand warmers and nonperishable food items.

Freezing drizzle and highs in the low 20s were expected in Denver on Sunday, making way for sunny skies and highs in the mid-50s by Monday.

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dewlady357 March 02 2014 at 9:32 AM

Mu husband and I live in Colorado, 20 miles north of Denver. In our town we might have had a couple of "fender benders" because we had about 2 inches of snow but minimal (if any accidents). Whoever was driving the first car in this ridiculous pileup is, IMO, the one at fault. I-25 is a treacherous roadway at any time. We tend to take the long way around as it seems people who drive I-25 are nut jobs who always want to get that "one car ahead of the pack." We have friends who went to that train show at the Mart and I haven't heard from them, but I'm hoping they were not involved in that free-for-all. We're so sorry that one person died and over 40 more were injured. That being said....stay the hell HOME when the weather is that bad. Oh yes, I'm sure to hear from those who say " I had to go to work" and I'm sure thats true. But if anyone who DIDN'T have to go to work had stayed home, this could have been a much smaller auto/truck involved incident. 'Nuff said..have a nice day.

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hellyon3too dewlady357 March 02 2014 at 9:50 AM

If you had bothered to read the article, it was one of those squalls that is intense but of short duration. In other words, those people were probably already on the road when the squall hit. There was no chance to stay home, and when a storm like that happens you have little chance to get off the road and wait it out.

You can't just blame the first person in line, either. Anyone who was driving too fast for conditions and following too closely is equally at fault.

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brennemanbelkin March 02 2014 at 7:18 AM

You'd think that the people in Denver would know how to drive in bad weather.

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1 reply
lilnomadic1 brennemanbelkin March 02 2014 at 7:24 AM

It doesn't seem to matter where it is people just can not seem to get the fact that if the weather is bad be it rain,fog,snow,ice whatever you are supposed to slow down and proceed with caution. It can be the morning after an overnight ice and snow storm and people will still be passing and tailgating and of course when the idiots hit someone the media calls it an "accident" and says its the weathers fault.

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gjeepn1557 March 02 2014 at 6:58 AM

Seems every few weeks we are reading about "Massive Car accidents' on the highways, maybe people should back off and slow down and drive like their lives depend on it when the weather gets bad.

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1 reply
Calvin gjeepn1557 March 02 2014 at 7:54 AM


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Burt March 02 2014 at 6:48 AM

The article blames snow for the accident, yet there isn't any snow at all in the photo. Go figure.

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1 reply
Calvin Burt March 02 2014 at 7:57 AM

There are four photo's in the article I read, and the white stuff on the pavement sure look's like snow to me.

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1 reply
Tom Bathrick Calvin March 02 2014 at 8:36 AM

Black ice....snow.....white out conditions.....we have had our share this winter. Along with it comes pile-ups on expressways. Drivers need to slow down in this weather or get off the roads.

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papawin99 March 02 2014 at 6:44 AM

I can remember years ago (approx. 40 ) when we were able to use studded snow tires or chains for driving on ice. They haven't made studded snow tires for years that I know of and Illinois doesn't allow the use of chains and therefore there is nothing good for driving on ice, don't matter how slow you drive. Ever try and stop going 1 mph, doesn't work. Best thing to do any more is to stay off the roads if you can.

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2 replies
Calvin papawin99 March 02 2014 at 8:00 AM

And that's part of the problem,half of the people on the road don't have a reason to be there.Please wait until after the road's are clear,the mall will still be there.

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psbob014 papawin99 March 02 2014 at 8:12 AM

There are tires for winter that actually perform very close to the old studded tires. Firestone and Bridgestone for sure make them and I think others now. I used them for several years in upstate Pa in all kinds of weather on front wheel drive cars . You need them on all 4 wheels as the handling on ice is different from other types of tires and nothing will prevent the guy behind you from pilling into you because you could stop and they could not.

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I love Snickers March 02 2014 at 10:22 AM

I've lived or regularly travelled through several states, and by far the worst drivers I've ever seen are in Colorado!!!! In good weather they tend to slow down to enjoy the pretty scenery, but in bad weather they tend to speed up like maniacs and barrel along past all the careful drivers. Equally bad is the number of folks who drive 4-wheel-drives and think that gives them magical powers. When it's snowy, icy, or raining hard, it's almost hilarious that 90% of the vehicles that have slid off the road are the ones with 4-wheel drive, some even who have flipped over. You can bet the vehicle that started this big mess was driving too fast and was a 4wd.

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4 replies
fred March 02 2014 at 10:26 AM

Bad weather warnings don't apply to me- just everyone else (heard shortly before the past various pile-ups).....:)

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Richard March 02 2014 at 10:29 AM

I wonder if the vehicle count would have been lower if people were paying attention rather than talking and texting while driving.

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lesrob60 March 02 2014 at 10:49 AM

Blame the weather, Blame the vehicle, Blame the guy driving next to you, Blame everyone and everything else but don't slow down and take responsibility for your self.
Bush did it.

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3 replies
Robert March 02 2014 at 10:52 AM

I am a Colorado native and know dangerous conditions when I see them, and, yes, I am one of those drivers who chosses not to tailgate the car in front of me. What surprises me is that there are not more accidents like this every day here in Colorado given the way many people naturally drive.

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1 reply
kellyff721 Robert March 02 2014 at 11:45 AM

I am also in Colorado and I can tell you the increase of accidents here is due to a major issue! We have so many more people moving here so more traffic there are bound to be more accidents. The major issue is most of the people that are moving here are from California and Arizona that already drive aggressively and they don't know how to drive in cold, snowy weather. I get it all the time working in the auto industry!

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