Five hospitalized, two airlifted after rollover on Vail Pass
VAIL — A Detroit man who was driving a semi-tractor down Vail Pass on Saturday morning faces five counts of careless driving causing injury following a three-vehicle accident.
The accident occurred at around 10:34 a.m. on Interstate 70 westbound near milepost 182 approximately two miles east of the East Vail exit.
According to a release from the Colorado State Patrol, the semi-tractor, driven by Keith Thompson, 48, collided with a 2016 Ford Explorer towing a camper trailer being driven by a 40-year-old male from Agoura Hills, Calif. The collision forced both the Ford Explorer and a 2010 Jeep Cherokee off the roadway. The Ford Explorer rolled multiple times, causing injuries to all five passengers.
All occupants of the Ford Explorer, including three juveniles, were initially transported to Vail Health Hospital. All of those individuals were later transported to Denver area hospitals via Flight for Life helicopter or ground ambulances.
After the collision, the semi-tractor used a runaway truck ramp to come to a stop at milepost 182. The Jeep was being driven by a 69-year-old male from Evans, Colorado.
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The driver of the semi-tractor and the driver of the Jeep Cherokee did not sustain injuries. Excessive speed and brake failure are being considered as possible factors in the crash. The crash remains under investigation.
Responding agencies included Vail Fire and Emergency Services, Eagle County Paramedics Services, Vail Police Department, Colorado Department of Transportation, and the Colorado State Patrol. A safety closure was immediately implemented westbound, over Vail Pass, and re-opened by mid-afternoon Saturday while Colorado State Patrol officers completed the traffic investigation and cleared the interstate of debris.
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