Wintery weather catches many off guard, causes headaches on roadways

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The blast of wintery weather led to headaches on roads throughout the Front Range and Denver metro area Saturday afternoon.

One icy curve along U.S. 285 was the site of two successive accidents. As troopers responded to a silver sedan in the ditch, they narrowly avoided a black car that slid in beside it.

"I could tell he was in trouble,” said Tammy Story, who witnessed the accident and barely avoided it herself. “He was skidding and starting to lose control. He was headed off to the shoulder, but I was worried about the people that were stopped there on the road already dealing with the other accident."

"He said he panicked when he saw the emergency vehicles," said Trooper Bryan Eicher with the Colorado State Patrol.

Troopers throughout the front range had several close calls Saturday afternoon, often relying on chains and plenty of caution.

Eicher said there were six accidents on a single one-mile stretch of U.S. 285 near Windy Point. Most of the accidents were slide-offs caused by over-aggressive driving.

"I think (drivers) just get eager,” Story said. “You’ve reached the peak of the hill and it's downhill to Denver."

Even after drivers made it into the metro area some encountered problems.

There were several accidents in Lakewood caused, in part, by the slick road conditions.

The flakes were more of a nuisance downtown, but still caught plenty of people off guard.

"I didn't know it was going to be snowing, so I was kind of surprised," said Jackie Cross, who was caught in the cold on the 16th St Mall. "I'm kind of regretting not bringing my coat."

There were plenty of drivers with even bigger regrets across the front range.

"People thought they were probably through with winter and thought they could limp their tires through,” said Trooper Eicher. “Probably need to still worry about getting some new tires for some of the people out here."

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2 comments

  • dougsmith42

    No pity for carelessness. Maybe it’s time to cite folks who can’t slow down and drive off the road. It’s a no brainer they are driving TOO FAST for conditions.

  • Harvey McFadden

    During adverse conditions it will often be noticed that it is the rear of a vehicle that loses traction first.
    What the average person and some experts are not aware of is that there can be as high as 950 pounds or more weight on the front axle of their vehicle than the back. So a car that feels like a limousine on the front holds like a golf cart on the back
    Generally vehicles with equal weight front and rear have a fatality occurrence of 50 per million registered. This can be attributed to human error.
    Consistently vehicles with more than 63 percent weight on the front will have 3 times as many accidents. The difference in weight makes predicting a safe speed harder and recovery from a breakaway of the lighter rear almost impossible.
    The fuel tank holds one percent of the vehicle weight so a car with a weight ratio of 63/37 with an empty tank now becomes 64/36 , very unsafe !

    See lossofcontrolaccidents at blogspot.com/

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