Car Accident Kills One, Sends Woman and Baby to Hospital
Fatal Crash on I-70
Just after 1:20 Monday afternoon, two cars collided head on along Interstate 70. One person was confirmed dead at the scene, and a woman and baby were rushed to the hospital.
Police say although it's unclear exactly how it got there, a silver Dodge Caravan was traveling westbound in the eastbound lane of I-70. When it got close to the 23 Road overpass, they say it slammed head on into a red Monte Carlo traveling the correct way on the interstate. Authorities say both cars were traveling at speeds of at least 60 miles per hour.
"I heard this great big old boom," said eyewitness Vita Sisco.
It was a boom that Sisco and other eyewitnesses say they won't soon forget. As they ran outside to see what the noise might be, they saw the remnants of a car and mini van that collided head on. It was a sight that had nearby workers hopping over the fence to help.
"We saw smoke barreling out of the vehicle, so we started to run and get some fire extinguishers," said Matthew Gergert, a Geotechnial Engineering employee who rushed to the scene.
"It was kind of like instinct, a reaction," said Jesse Slaughter, another worker who hopped the fence to help.
They say they ran outside without hesitation, but as the ambulances and police started to arrive, and the smoke from the cars cleared, they say what had actually happened hit them hard.
"Whenever I saw the injuries and whenever I saw them pulling the baby out was when I knew that this was not a good situation," said Slaughter. "That something very tragic did happen."
A baby was removed from the Monte Carlo and transported to the hospital right away. Crews had to work for nearly an hour to extricate a woman out of the Caravan. For the driver of the Monte Carlo, there was nothing they could do except cover the body with a yellow sheet.
"It's always something you don't want to see -- people harmed, injured, and obviously dying," said Officer TJ Rix of the Grand Junction Police Department. "It's even worse when you have children involved."
While they still can't believe what happened, workers at Geotechnical Engineering say they're proud to have played a small part in rescue efforts.
"Hopefully what we did will help out in this situation," said Gergert.
The stretch of I-70 between Highway 6 & 50 and 24 Road was closed for just over four hours as crews worked to save the victims and clean up the road.
At this time, the injuries to and conditions of the woman and baby transported to the hospital are unknown.
This is an update from a GJPD press release today:
Grand Junction Police Investigate Fatal Crash on I-70
(Grand Junction, CO) – The female driver of the Silver Dodge Caravan involved in the crash on I-70 yesterday that was transported to Saint Mary’s Hospital, passed away later that evening at around 5:30 pm. The female was suffering from massive internal trauma at the time of death. The female’s identification will be released pending notification of family.
The child, a 5 month old male infant that was removed from the Red Chevrolet Monte Carlo and transported to Saint Mary’s Hospital is currently being treated for “Head Trauma” in the hospital’s intensive care unit, (ICU). The infant was riding in a properly installed child safety seat in the rear seat of the vehicle at the time of the crash. The identification of the infant will coincide with the release of information from the Mesa County Coroner’s post mortem pertaining to the deceased driver of the Monte Carlo.
GJPD traffic investigators have established that moments prior to the crash the Silver Dodge Caravan drove West bound against traffic after it entered the East bound lanes of I-70 from the 24 Rd interchange off ramp.
The woman who caused a fatal accident on Interstate 70 after driving west in eastbound lanes died Monday evening at St. Mary’s Hospital, the Grand Junction Police Department announced Tuesday.
Officer T.J. Rix said the woman died at approximately 5:30 p.m. from “massive internal trauma,” four hours after her Dodge Caravan collided head-on with a red Chevrolet Monte Carlo.
The driver of the Monte Carlo, 26-year-old Jenny Trover of Fruita, was pronounced dead at the accident scene.
Steve Stogsdill, a deputy coroner with the Mesa County Coroner’s Office, said Trover died from multiple injuries.
Rix said a 5-month-old boy who was riding in a child seat in the backseat of the Monte Carlo remains in critical condition at St. Mary’s Hospital.
He said the child, whom police have declined to name, is suffering from head trauma.
The two vehicles collided, Rix said, after the minivan drove the wrong way down the 24 Road exit ramp into eastbound traffic on I-70.
Both vehicles were traveling at least 60 mph at the time of the crash, he said.
The fatal accident occurred only after numerous eastbound drivers tried to warn the minivan’s driver, using their headlights, one motorist said.
Tom Malkob said he was driving eastbound Monday afternoon when he noticed cars ahead of him weaving about a mile ahead of him. “I realized there was some unusual movement,” Malkob said. “I realized there was a vehicle in the wrong lane.”
Malkob said over the next 10 seconds he and other drivers nearby flashed their lights as they watched the minivan drive with its passenger-side wheels nearly on the grass median.
“Come on,” Malkob said. “How can you not realize when you’re driving down the road and 20 or 30 or 40 vehicles are all weaving at you or waving at you or blinking their lights at you, that something is wrong?”
Shortly thereafter, the minivan collided head-on with the Monte Carlo.