DENVER (AP) – A tour bus carrying 45 passengers was part of a string of accidents on Interstate 25 south of Denver, but no serious injuries were immediately reported as snow and rain created treacherous conditions blamed for at least one fatal crash.
Colorado State Patrol Trooper Nate Reid said five people on the bus were complaining of injuries following the accident at 9:30 a.m. Saturday. None of those passengers was transported by ambulance, South Metro Fire Rescue Authority spokesman Andy Lyon said.
Additional details, including the name of the operator and where the bus originated, were not immediately available.
The bus was involved in one of three separate accidents that closed the northbound lanes of Colorado’s main north-south highway Saturday morning.
Reid said there were two crashes on northbound I-25 near Lone Tree and an accident in the southbound lanes.
“They’re absolutely weather related,” Reid said. “The roads are not in good shape.”
One person died when a vehicle went into a creek along Rollinsville Pass Road in Gilpin County, Reid said. The person was pulled out of the car and died on the way to the hospital.
Several accidents, including a rollover, happened on I-70 at Vail Pass, but Reid said injuries were minor.
The accidents happened as snow blanketed the area, creating slick, icy conditions on highways in the mountains and the Front Range that left Durango digging out of more than 7 inches of snow. Most of the snow on the plains south of Denver melted when it hit the ground, but trees with leaves still on them were sagging from accumulated snowfall.
“It’s pretty heavy snow,” said Douglas County sheriff’s spokesman Ron Hanavan.
Residents reported power outages in an area stretching about 30 miles from Sedalia, to Franktown and to Parker south of Denver, according to the Intermountain Rural Electric Association.
At Denver International Airport, a deicing truck clipped the wing of a United Airlines regional jet that was preparing for a flight from Denver to Colorado Springs, airport spokeswoman Jenny Schiavone said. Passengers from Flight 6478 were taken off the plane and taken to the concourse by bus.
No injuries were reported.
United spokeswoman Brooke Heath said the plane was parked when the vehicle came into contact with it. The 31 passengers aboard would be driven by bus to Colorado Springs, Heath said.
Heath said the plane suffered minimal damage to a wing tip.
Schiavone said operations were normal at the airport, with no weather related delays reported.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)