Driver crosses into oncoming traffic, dies in crash on I-70

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GOLDEN, Colo. — We could learn by Wednesday if a medical condition caused a driver to veer into the wrong lanes of I-70 west of Denver Tuesday killing her.

The deadly accident forced a major closure of the eastbound lanes of the interstate from Colfax to Denver West Boulevard from about 10:15 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

They were two drivers headed in opposite directions on I-70 when in an instant, their lives and their vehicles collided.

“The Lexus crossed over the traffic lanes, from the middle lane to the left lane and into the cutout median. At that point, (she) crossed over and ended up in eastbound traffic,” says Ty Countryman, spokesman for Lakewood Police.

A woman in her 60’s, driving the Lexus, then collided with the rear-dual tires of a loaded gravel truck, killing her.

“Heard an explosion, what sounded like an explosion went off,” says pedestrian Shawn Barton, before he saw it was a car accident.

Pedestrians heard the impact, while drivers felt it. CDOT shutdown eastbound I-70 at Colfax to Denver West Blvd. for more than four hours as police investigated and crews cleaned up the mess.

“It was pretty much a parking lot,” says driver Carlos Ruis, who said the closure added 20 minutes to his commute.

“I came from Centennial, 470 all the way and when I entered I-70 from there to here, it was like an hour,” says motorist Renee Zaccardi, who says she barely made it to the gas station on Colfax in time to use the restroom.

The closure forced traffic onto a crowded Colfax and other side streets, as cars were rerouted back onto I-70.

But not before another car casualty, you could see a man carrying his car (the bumper) instead of driving it.

“One-thirty is the next one (appointment), so hopefully I’ll make it on time,” says Ruis, who says the closure caused him to miss an appointment at a bank.

It meant a day of delays, missed appointments, and for one family, the sudden loss of a loved one.

“I’m an ex-tow truck driver, and it’s pretty bad. It looks like the truck ran over the car,” says Barton.

Investigators will also check to see if the car had any mechanical problems that caused the crash.

The driver of the gravel truck was taken to the hospital as a precaution–but apparently was not hurt.