A Longmont woman was among three people killed in unrelated accidents on suburban Denver roads Monday after a spring snowstorm swept into the state overnight, snarling the morning commute.
Mary Suiter was killed when she lost control of her 2002 Chrysler Sebring on snow-packed Colorado Boulevard near 150th Avenue in Adams County, slid sideways across the centerline and hit an oncoming pickup truck, state troopers reported. The accident happened at 6:32 a.m.
Suiter was wearing a seat belt, troopers said. The truck driver was uninjured.
The morning storm — Colorado’s second spring snowstorm in less than a week — was expected to bring less than an inch of snow to Denver but had dumped 6 inches by mid-morning in some areas and caused a traffic mess, including an 18-car pileup, a school bus crash and at least three fatalities.
The wet, soggy snow was also blamed for an 18-vehicle pileup on eastbound Interstate 76 near Hudson, about 30 miles northeast of Denver. Hall said one person suffered serious injuries when four tractor-trailers and several passenger vehicles collided. Several more people suffered minor injuries.
Snow-slick roads were also blamed for a pileup on Interstate 70 near Strasburg, about 40 miles east of Denver. Rod Mead, operations manager for the Colorado Department of Transportation, said that pileup happened early Monday when at least one car stopped to help a stranded driver and was hit from behind by a truck. Mead had no immediate word on injuries from that pileup, though four miles of the interstate were closed after the wreck.
A school bus accident on a snowy rural road east of Colorado Springs Monday morning left the driver injured. Lt. Lari Sevene of the El Paso County Sheriff’s Department says a passenger truck T-boned a school bus, tipping the bus on its side. The crash happened just after 9:30 a.m. in the small town of Ellicott, about 25 miles east of Colorado Springs.
Sevene said a 5-year-old boy was the only pupil aboard and that there was no immediate report he was hurt. The bus driver and the truck driver received minor injuries. It took rescuers almost an hour to get to the scene because of icy roads, she said.
A total of 6.2 inches of snow was recorded in the west Denver suburb of Jefferson County, and 5 inches were reported in the east Denver suburb of Aurora.
Heavier snow was reported in the mountains, with 5 inches to 10 inches expected by the end of the day Monday in the mountain resort town of Breckenridge. The National Weather Service reported snow with thunder overnight at Monarch Pass, near Salida. Trace amounts of snow were recorded in far western Colorado.
Last week, a storm dropped up to a foot of snow on the eastern Colorado plains and up to a foot and a half in the mountains.