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Snow Triggers Pileups Near Denver

December 11, 1998

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Dec. 14 – In less than 24 hours, snow triggered two major pileups on congested Interstate 24 near Denver.

Two people died in a 19-vehicle pileup last Thursday in the northbound lanes of I-25. The accident happened less than 24 hours after several people had minor injuries from a 21-car chain reaction south of Denver on Wednesday.
Six tractor-trailers and 13 cars were involved in the Thursday crash, which caused nine related accidents on both sides of the Interstate, reports the Associated Press.
According to the Denver Post, the wreck was triggered when a gray Mercedes, attempting to pass a tractor-trailer, skidded on slush. It hit the truck and spun into the middle of the interstate, creating an obstacle for following drivers. A fletbed truck and a gray Subaro collided, killing the two people in the car. The trailer broke away from the truck and crushed a Toyota. The driver of the Toyota, a 19-year-old college student, survived but may lose her legs. A truck driver and another motorist tried to free her, but had to be content with giving her a blanket to keep her warm until rescue workers were able to cut her out of the car.
Two years ago an 82-car pileup happened at the same location. State troopers blame the wrecks on congested traffic and careless drivers who overestimate the capabilities of their vehicles in bad weather. Icy pavement and thick fog played a role. The highway was closed for more than six hours.

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