Colorado’s second spring snowstorm in less than a week caused a metro-Denver traffic mess Monday morning, including an 18-car pileup and at least three fatalities.
A morning storm was expected to bring less than an inch of snow to Denver but had dumped 6 inches by midmorning in some areas.
The deaths occurred in three unrelated accidents on suburban Denver roads during the morning commute, Colorado State Patrol Trooper David Hall said. At least two of those deaths were caused when drivers lost control of their cars and crossed into oncoming traffic, Hall said.
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 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.