Three people were transported to Southwest Memorial Hospital after a rear-end collision Friday morning on U.S. Highway 160 east of Cortez.
Trooper James Proctor, of the Colorado State Patrol, said an eastbound pickup truck with Colorado plates was turning left into the Ute Mountain Indian Trading Post parking lot about 10:30 a.m. when it was rear-ended by an eastbound Chevy Cruze from Arizona.
The car’s air bag’s deployed and the hood was ripped off. Debris and glass were scattered across the highway.
The driver of the Chevy Cruze, Kiana Blueeyes, of Towaoc, was issued a citation for careless driving causing injury, according to the state patrol. The driver of the pickup truck, Mathew Sheldon, of Cortez, suffered injuries in the crash, and was transported to Southwest Memorial. Blueeyes, and her passenger, Veronica Lobato, were also both transported to Southwest Memorial Hospital. Occupants of both vehicles were wearing seat belts.
Traffic was delayed for about an hour as rescue crews attended to victims and cleared the wreckage.
“A preliminary investigation shows that the vehicle was turning left into the Ute Mountain Indian Trading Post parking lot, and another vehicle struck it from the rear,” said Proctor.
“At this point, the investigation is ongoing,” he said.
The Cortez Fire Protection District, Colorado State Patrol, Southwest Memorial Hospital and Colorado Department of Transportation responded to the crash, which happened under the Colorado Department of Transportation’s “drive safely” sign.