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Monarch area scene of fatal accidents

Road closed for hours

by Mark Reaman

The Monarch Pass area recently has been the scene of a few auto accidents that have resulted in fatalities. According to Colorado State Patrol spokesperson Nate Reid, a four-vehicle accident on May 15 closed the highway for several hours and resulted in the death of a Colorado Department of Transportation worker.

The area of the crash, near the base of Monarch Pass near milepost 209, was an active construction zone where temporary signaling devices were in place alternating eastbound and westbound traffic.

According to a statement from the state patrol, “A commercial vehicle, 18-wheeler, was eastbound on Highway 50, coming down Monarch Pass. Eastbound traffic was stopped so the westbound traffic could proceed. The commercial vehicle failed to stop for the signal and crossed into the westbound lanes. The commercial vehicle collided with a passenger truck. Next, the commercial 18-wheeler collided with a second westbound commercial vehicle, which was in a dump truck configuration.

“After the two commercial vehicles collided, a fourth passenger vehicle was hit. The 18-wheeler traveled off the south side of the road and down an embankment. The driver of the 18-wheeler was flown to Penrose Hospital with serious injuries. The dump truck rolled and came to rest on the roadway. The driver of that vehicle sustained fatal injuries. The driver of the passenger truck was not injured. The driver of the passenger vehicle was transported with minor injuries.”

CDOT identified the deceased worker as 61-year-old David Morris.

Meanwhile, a WSCU student was killed on the west side of Monarch near Sargents on May 10. According to Reid, 25-year-old Devon Reyes of Greeley died in a one-car accident about 7:45 p.m. when his car swerved out of his lane near milepost 192. The car struck an embankment, rolled onto its top and partially ejected Reyes, who was not wearing a seatbelt. Reyes died on the scene. No alcohol or drugs are suspected in the accident.

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