U.S. Highway 160 was closed in both directions for at least 45 minutes Wednesday morning for a crash near Mancos.
The Colorado Department of Transportation issued an alert at 8:11 a.m. The highway had reopened by 8:59 a.m. The crash was between mile markers 52 and 53, near County Road H.
Colorado State Patrol public information officer Nate Reid said the crash occurred about 7:30 a.m. and involved two vehicles, a Subaru Outback and a small sedan. The drivers, 61-year-old Marjorie Connolly, of Mancos, and 53-year-old Andrea Shemesh of Chicago, did not appear to have serious injuries, and refused medical attention. Shemesh was driving with her 22-year-old son Tamir Shemesh, who was also uninjured. Tow trucks arrived about 8:30 a.m. to take away the damaged vehicles. Reid said patrol troopers stayed on the scene to direct traffic while the road was closed.
Trooper Gary Smith said the collision occurred when Connolly was backing out of County Road H onto the highway. She reportedly said she didn’t see Shemesh’s vehicle, which was driving east on U.S. 160, until the collision. Smith said that, based on interviews and the posted speed limit at that part of the highway, he believed Shemesh was driving about 55 mph when the right front of her vehicle collided with the left front of Connolly’s. Smith said it’s unusual to see a two-vehicle crash at that speed without anyone getting hurt.
“It’s kind of unbelievable, actually,” Smith said. “Airbags were deployed in both vehicles, everyone was buckled up, and everybody walked away with no injuries.”
Montezuma County Sheriff’s deputies and Mancos Fire and Rescue workers also responded to the scene. Deputies helped the troopers direct traffic onto County Road H while the two vehicles were still blocking U.S. 160.