By Matt Kroschel
SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– Drivers are used to dodging deer and elk and in one notorious stretch of Colorado blacktop: Highway 9. Drivers are also on the lookout for rocks.
Highway 9 above Green Mountain Reservoir north of Silverthorne was closed Wednesday evening for a rock slide that covered the highway. It is just the latest incident involving rock that caught drivers by suppose.
Melissa Ferris was driving along that stretch when she came around a blind corner and hit the slide.
“I came around the corner saw a guy waving at me to slow down and I did and then I saw the rock slide. I slowed down but not completely and I went into the rocks,” Ferris told CBS4 Thursday.
The slide happened in a section of cliffs above Green Mountain Reservoir. The loose black rock and dirt on the hillside frequently gives way, sending debris raining down on the highway.
“I was in shock,” Ferris added as she recounted the incident.
Thousands commute along the road every day from the Kremmling area into Summit County for work. There is no cellphone service in the area and it’s very dark at night.
The rock slide zone, as it’s known in the area, is not a risk they take lightly.
“On a rainy day or snowy day when the soil is softer, it comes down really quick,” said driver Yaneth Carballo.
The Colorado Department of Transportation has some concrete barriers in the area, but they are battered and not in place along the entire section where the slides often occur.
“Time goes by it’s not going to get any better and as time goes by, there is more traffic. It’s a hazard,” Carballo says.
For Ferris, the slide is something she cannot soon forget, “If I was in a smaller car instead of a jeep it probably would’ve totaled the car.”