CDOT officials review I-70 construction zone in Glenwood Canyon after 2 deadly crashes

Crashes happened within 5 miles of each other

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. - Colorado Department of Transportation officials are reviewing a construction zone on Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon after 2 deadly crashes that happened within five miles of each other in the past six weeks.

CDOT spokeswoman Nancy Shanks said Thursday anytime there is a fatal accident, the department reviews highway conditions to determine if they played a role.

According to the Glenwood Springs Post Independent, the department is getting copies of the accident reports and traffic engineers will review them.

The latest crash happened when a Mazda sedan collided head-on with a tractor-trailer hauling beer. In the impact, both vehicles burst into flames. One of the truck's tanks ruptured, leaking about 100 gallons of diesel fuel. Hazardous materials teams were called out to clean up the spill.

Witnesses to the crash were able to pull three occupants out of the burning Mazda, but the driver was pronounced dead on the scene.  Reid said the driver of the truck escaped without injury.

The other accident happened early April 14 killing teens Brianda Zavala, of Glenwood Springs; Jennifer Nevarez, of Carbondale; and 24-year-old Albino Ortiz-Monge, of Gypsum. Troopers say Zavala was driving eastbound in the designated westbound lane of traffic in a construction zone when the car carrying all three collided head-on with a semitrailer, whose driver wasn't hurt.

The Post Independent reported that according to a Garfield County coroner's toxicology report, Zavala's blood-alcohol level was nearly twice the legal limit of 0.08 percent at the time of the crash.

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