A head-on collision involving two vehicles traveling on Colorado Highway 145 on Monday, Sept. 23, has left two people dead and two others hospitalized. The accident occurred just southwest of Dolores near the Skyline Gas Station.
Colorado State Patrol Sgt. Ben Steger said the accident occurred at about 1:55 p.m. when a silver Ford F-150, which was driven by 42-year old Darrell Hackett of Cortez and travelling north toward Dolores, swerved across the double-yellow line and struck a silver Chevrolet truck travelling southbound head-on.
The Chevrolet truck, which was driven by Darrell Hall of Ontario Calif., and pulling a large fifth-wheel camping trailer, swerved to avoid a collision. Upon impact, the vehicle flew off the road, eventually coming to rest upside down on the side of a nearby embankment. The fifth-wheel camping trailer, which disconnected from the truck sometime after the collision, came to rest on its side nearby.
According to Sgt. Steger, the F-150 briefly left the ground before spinning 180 degrees and coming to a rest.
Both Hackett and 32-year old passenger, Sky McLure of Cortez were killed.
Hall, along with passenger, Gail Hall, were transported to Southwest Memorial Hospital with moderate injuries.
Shortly after the accident, tires, broken glass, a stereo and miscellaneous car parts covered the roadway.
Describing the accident, a motorcyclist from San Diego, who asked to be identified only as Bryan, said while driving behind the fifth-wheel trailer, he noticed a truck heading northbound cross the double yellow line and veer into the southbound lane.
"The northbound (truck) hit the (southbound truck) and tore down the entire side of the trailer pushing him over. The car in front of us swerved to the left, I swerved to the right, skidded, and as the (truck and trailer) were falling off the side of the road, a guy flew out in front of me onto the road. I dodged him, came to a stop and ran back to help."
As a result of the accident, a small section of Highway 145 was closed from 1:59 p.m. until 3:55 p.m.
The cause of the accident remains under investigation with speed and substance-abuse being considered as possible contributing factors.
At least four agencies arrived at the scene, including the Colorado State Patrol, the Montezuma County Sheriff's Office, the Colorado Department of Transportation and the Dolores Fire Department.