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Changes coming to confusing I-70 off-ramp after two deadly crashes in as many months

Posted at 4:29 PM, Feb 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-18 10:13:42-05

ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. -- The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is making changes to a confusing off-ramp from I-70 to Gun Club Road near E-470, following two Denver7 reports of deadly crashes in the area in as many months. 

On Christmas night last year, investigators say 86-year-old Gerald Arnett went the wrong way down the ramp with his Dodge Caravan. His wife, Betty, was with him at the time of the crash.

Investigators say they were eventually going the wrong way on I-70 when the van slammed head-on with a truck. Kyle Parker was driving the truck, his girlfriend Katie was sitting on the passenger side.

The Arnett's died at the scene. Katie Paul was killed on impact. The families of the Arnett's and the Paul's both talked exclusively with Denver7 pleading with CDOT to make changes to the confusing off-ramp.

CDOT now says those changes are coming.

"Our traffic engineers went out and looked and said they could add a couple more signs and actually maybe even paint on the roadway, to actually clearly spell out 'wrong way,'" said CDOT spokesperson Amy Ford.

Kyle Parker is pleased that changes are coming so soon.

"If they can change something to keep this from happening to anyone else, that would be amazing," he said.

Katie Paul's father, Mike, was also happy to hear something was being done.

"We are very appreciative that they are acting on our requests."

Mike believes even more could be done because he says the lighting is very insufficient in the area at night.

"I'm hoping they can pursue this issue even further," he said.

Ford tells Denver7 making any changes to the roads is in intricate process.

"We always look at the balance of lighting, lighting pollution, signage and how you balance the signage... how you don’t do too much signage because people ignore that. If there's too little signage then people don’t see that. It’s always a balance that our traffic engineers look at," she said.

Ford says the changes at the I-70/E-470 interchange could be completed in the next few months.