Two Colorado pileups tangled up traffic for hours after a fast-moving and heavy snowstorm dumped snow on the state.
The pileups involved more than 50 vehicles, forcing the closure of Interstate 70 for most of Monday. No serious injuries were reported from the two Colorado pileups, but three people were sent to the hospital, the Post Independent reported.
The massive crashes happened near the ski resort town of Vail, with a 25-car pileup in Interstate 70 near Silverthorne and another 29-car pileup near Frisco. There were many other wrecks scattered throughout the interstate and on other roads as blizzard conditions eliminated visibility.
“We were seeing blizzard conditions. We had such poor visibility and that was most of the problem motorists were experiencing,” said Mindy Crane, Department of Transportation spokeswoman.
The blizzard conditions were so fierce that a Department of Transportation camera on a tunnel was covered in ice.
Authorities also blamed the two Colorado pileups on careless driving.
“It started on the east side of Eisenhower Tunnel and just kept getting worse,” said Ashley Mohr, Department of Transportation spokesperson for the region including Eagle County. “Folks were going too fast for the conditions.”
The blizzard was part of a fast-moving storm that swept through Colorado and left up to a foot of snow in the north-central region of the state, Reuters reported. The storm was so localized that the Denver metropolitan area saw only a dusting.
Though spring is just around the corner, March is typically the snowiest month on Colorado, the national weather service noted.
By late in the day on Monday the blizzard had subsided, and Interstate 70 re-opened. The rest of the week will bring relief to drivers who endured the two Colorado pileups — it’s expected to be in the 30s and 40s for the rest of the week with clear skies.