The Colorado State Patrol is reminding drivers to move over or slow down after six crash responder vehicles were hit over Christmas weekend.
Two vehicles were hit on Christmas Day. The first crash happened when a CDOT plow operator stopped to direct traffic for a crash on I-70 near milepost 53. CSP says the plow operator was hit by a passenger van that was sliding out of control on the highway.
During the second Christmas Day crash, a CSP trooper was investigating a crash on I-70 near milepost 56 when his patrol car was struck by a passing motorist that was sliding out of control.
On Dec. 26, a trooper had stopped to protect towing operations on I-70 when a Dodge Caravan crashed into the rear corner of the patrol car. That same day, another trooper was handling a crash scene on I-70 near milepost 129 in Glenwood Canyon when the patrol car was struck from behind. CSP says the vehicle who hit the patrol car had improper tires and lost control on the roadway.
On Dec. 27, a CSP Hazmat vehicle was called out to a crash on I-70 in Glenwood Canyon. A second vehicle lost control and struck the crushed car, pushing it into the patrol vehicle. Later in the day, a trooper was investigating another crash with the Hazmat vehicle when a Dodge Ram spun out of control and hit the side of the patrol vehicle. CSP says the driver of the Dodge Ram then fled the scene.
Authorities issued warnings about the weather, traction and chain laws and the Slow Down Move Over Law ahead of the winter weather.
“Road conditions can change in an instant and drivers need to be prepared to stop or navigate difficult conditions,” warned Col. Matthew C. Packard. Colorado State Patrol “Last year troopers around the state cited 482 drives for violations related to tire and chain restrictions for vehicles of all types on our roadways. If you fail to prepare your vehicle properly, the crash you cause may not stop at property damage – it may take a life.”
As of Dec. 22, 63 first responders have died this year after they were struck on the roadside while working, according to the Emergency Responder Safety Institute. Of those who died, 28 were law enforcement officers while 22 were tow truck operators.
“In each of these six crashes the troopers and CDOT worker were able to return home to their loved ones,” stated Col. Packard. “We know how lucky this truly is and we know that the next crash may not have the same outcome. Slow down in snow and icy conditions and for goodness sake, move over if you see roadside workers.”