Those traveling on Colorado roads, especially Denver interstates, are no strangers to horrific accidents.
From winter conditions to drunk drivers and people simply headed the wrong direction, Denver car accidents can happen. And when they do, the results can be devastating.
According to the Denver Post, a total of 615 people died on the roads in 2017 by December 26 that year. The number of road deaths in Colorado in 2017 surpassed the total of 2016, which saw the most in over a decade. More than 600 people died on Colorado’s roadways in 2016, according to statistics gathered by state transportation officials, that number was up about 11 percent from 2015.
Some of the most devastating Denver car accidents involved snowy conditions, wildlife, drunk drivers, or reckless drivers.
3 Without Seatbelts Killed in Crash with Bear
In September last year, a child, a teenager, and their grandfather were killed after the SUV they were in collided with a 300-pound bear on I-70.
Colorado State Patrol say that all seven people were ejected from the vehicle after it hit the bear, as none of them were wearing seatbelts. After striking and killing the bear, the SUV rolled into oncoming traffic.
“Unfortunately, we see accidents like this across Colorado,” Mike Porras with Colorado Parks and Wildlife told CBS Denver.
Safety tip: In Colorado, adults sitting in the front seats must wear seatbelts, while those in the back do not have to—though for safety reasons you should anyway. However, all minors are required to wear a seatbelt no matter where they are sitting in the car.
3 Killed in Christmas Crash
The Denver Post reported that three people were killed on Christmas Day last year after colliding with a vehicle being driven the wrong direction down I-70.
A minivan headed west in the eastbound lane collided with a truck. Both people in the minivan were killed. The passenger in the truck, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was also killed.
Police Suspect Alcohol Played Role in Double Fatality
A 39-year-old man is accused of being at fault in a crash that left two dead. The man, Ernie Crawley, allegedly smelled of alcohol and was slurring his speech at the scene of the Denver car accident.
The crash occurred in the early hours of Sunday morning on eastbound I-70. According to The Denver Post, Crawley, is being held on suspicion of vehicular homicide.
Safety tip: Staying off the roads near or close to bar closing times on any day of the week, but especially on the holidays and weekends, can save your life.
Having a designated driver when you drink is, of course, absolutely necessary to protect yourself and others on the road. However, choosing to sleep at a friends place or a nearby hotel not because you’ve been drinking, but because you don’t know who on the road has been, could also save your life.
Crossing into Oncoming Traffic Kills Two
In July last year, two people were killed in a high-speed, five-vehicle crash on I-70.
A truck driven by Jeff Stumpf—who had made headlines for his 21-foot, 7,500-pound, cast-iron barbecue pit on wheels more than a decade earlier— crossed into oncoming traffic. The full-speed collusion set off a chain reaction, entangling five vehicles in the crash.
Several people were rushed to the hospital with minor injuries, several with major injuries. Two, including Stumpf, were killed in the accident.
Meth in Driver’s System
Three people were killed in a Denver car accident in September that was allegedly caused by a driver with meth in his system. Early reports of the seven-car accident on 61st Avenue and Ward Road, stated that the driver might have been drunk. However, investigators later determined that he had methamphetamine in his system.
Wrong-way Collision Kills Two
A great deal of fatal car crashes are caused by multiple elements. Police believe that Kimberly Rodriguez Roldan was under the influence of alcohol when she entered the closed southbound HOV lane on I-25, driving into oncoming traffic.
According to CBS Denver, the interstate HOV lanes switch between north and southbound depending on the time of day.
Roldan’s vehicle slammed into a vehicle carrying a family of four, killing two of them.
“It’s very tragic, very horrific, very emotional,” said Jessica Griffin, an eyewitness to the three-car wreck. “All of a sudden it (Roldan’s vehicle) stopped. And it started flying into the air and hit into the guardrail and went up into the air.”
104-Car Pileup in Snowy Conditions
Though there have been a number of pileups in Denver since 2014, the 104-car crash that injured 30 and left one dead should not be forgotten. This Denver car accident occurred when a band of heavy snow blew in white-out conditions on March 1, 2014.
“Literally it just whited out and I, my brakes weren’t stopping, and all of a sudden cars just started hitting everybody,” one woman in the accident told Denver 7 news.
Safety tip: To avoid finding yourself caught up in a high-speed, weather-triggered accident, such as this one, we recommend that you adjust your speed and distance from others cars significantly when the conditions worsen. Though little can be done when the weather changes so quickly, your best bet is to develop good habits when driving during the long winter.
Denver’s Most Dangerous Intersections
Though there isn’t much you can do to avoid drunk drivers when you’re going to be on the road late at night, you can protect yourself by being extra cautious when crossing one of Denver’s ten most crash-prone intersections.
With data compiled by the Denver Police Department, it was revealed that locations at or near exits I-25 and I-70 swept the to top ten most dangerous spots for Denver drivers at the beginning of 2017.
According to Westworld, the top spot was held by I-25 at Sixth Avenue, where there was an average crash rate of nearly one per day.
Other Denver intersections to make the list were:
- I-70 at I-25
- I-25 at 20th Street
- I-70 at Northfield/Quebec
- I-70 at Havana Street
- I-25 at Santa Fe Drive
- I-70 at Peoria Street
- I-25 at Alameda Avenue
- I-25 at 23rd Avenue
- I-25 at Yale Avenue
Call a Denver Car Accident Attorney at Manning Law
There are so many ways you can help to prevent being in a car accident in Denver and so many ways you can mitigate the risks if you are. Regardless, accidents do happen.
In fact, according to data collected by Insurer Nationwide from its SmartRide telematics program, Colorado drivers are among the worst in the nation. That’s not to say any given person is necessarily a dangerous driver. However, every time you get in your car, you’re sharing the road with hundreds and hundreds of potentially dangerous people.
Should you find yourself in an accident in Denver, it’s imperative that you seek legal counsel from a Denver personal injury attorney. A local attorney will be able to provide guidance in terms of specific state ordinances, as well as Colorado’s unique set of personal injury laws in Aurora.
With decades of combined Denver experiencing helping those in car accidents get compensated for injuries and related costs, Manning Law is there for you. We know that you don’t expect to be in an accident—nobody does. However, if you are, we will take care of you, ensuring the process for legal action following the trauma is as pain-free as possible.
Our Denver car accident attorneys at Manning Law know how to help you win cases involving accidents in Denver. That means everything from a small fender bender to tragic and fatal accidents handled by our team of wrongful death lawyers in Denver.