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Multi-car crashes force closure of I-70 in high country

CDOT scrambled, reopened highway
Posted at 2:38 AM, Nov 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-25 12:20:06-05

SILVERTHORNE, Colo. -- It was slow-going on I-70 Saturday night as snow continued to fall in the high country.

Several multi-car crashes forced the closure of the highway west of the Eisenhower-Johnson Memorial Tunnels.

"There was a hazmat truck that was jackknifed in the middle of the road," said CU student Bailey Cox. "People were just trying to brake, and they were kind of flying everywhere."

Cox said she slowed down, but the car behind her didn't.  She said she got hit and then slid into the car in front of her.

A passenger in Bailey's car told Denver7 that she was worried that the hazmat truck might explode. It did not.

Several other motorists tried to avoid I-70 because of the multi-car crashes.

"We ended up taking Loveland Pass because Google said it was open," said Asim Malik. "And then when we got to the end, it was closed; so Google, shame on you."

Mr. Malik said he saw a tow truck deliver one of the damaged vehicles to the parking lot at the Silverthorne Recreation Center, which was used as a temporary shelter."

"I overheard (the driver) saying that there was a truck that jackknifed and took out a bunch of cars and their car just got totaled," he said.

At 6:10 p.m., an officer told the crowd at the Silverthorne Rec. Center that eastbound I-70 reopened up to the tunnels.

The crowd streamed out of the rec center and headed toward their cars.

There are still treacherous driving conditions in the mountains.

If you have to drive, CDOT says do so carefully.