JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Troopers are investigating a deadly wreck in Jefferson County near Golden. Five cars were involved in the crash Sunday on Interstate 70 near the Morrison Exit. Several people suffered serious injuries and one adult woman died at the scene.
It was around 11am, troopers say, when the driver of a white pickup heading west bound on I-70 crossed the median into oncoming traffic, striking multiple vehicles.
“Your heart breaks, for the family and for the son who had to witness this,” said Dusty Rhodes, who heard the crash and saw the aftermath. “I just heard a big bam,” Rhodes said. “It was huge.”
Rhodes pointed out where the pickup truck driver had crossed into oncoming traffic at an opening in the guardrail.
“(In) a fraction of a second, that this guy didn’t hit the barrier which allowed him to completely cross the median and strike these innocent people. It’s just tragic,” Rhodes told CBS4’s Melissa Garcia.
Paramedics rushed several people to the hospital with serious injuries.
One victim died at the scene. Troopers held up a sheet to shield the eyes of passing traffic. The images made Rhodes ponder how suddenly life can end.
“Just on an innocent, quiet Sunday afternoon, just minding your own business, and (life is) taken from you just like that,” Rhodes said with a snap of his fingers.
Crews shut down east bound traffic, forcing drivers to change paths and wait out a long backup.
“We’ve just been in traffic on (Highway) 40 for like an hour straight,” said Emma Martin, another driver.
Martin said that she and her family had missed their flight out of Denver International Airport.
“We gave ourselves five and a half hours to get from Grand Lake to Denver before we had to get our flight… and our flight’s supposed to leave at 2:30. We’re not going to make it,” she said.
As of Sunday afternoon, no charges had been filed. Troopers expected that to change, however. What caused the driver to cross the median was unknown. The identities of neither the deceased victim nor the at-fault driver had been released.