Breaking News
More () »

CSP says twice this month drivers have crashed into first responder vehicles

The state is pleading with drivers to pay attention, move over, and slow down.

DENVER — It's been a rough start to the year for Colorado State Patrol (CSP).

Twice this month already, they say drivers have ignored lane closures and crashed into first responder vehicles. In both cases, first responders had closed off a lane as they responded to crashes on the road.

The first one happened January 18th, the day of a snowstorm. CSP said troopers were responding to a single vehicle crash on C470 near Santa Fe.

“At the time we had an entire lane, the toll road lane, shut down on C470 and a vehicle [driving] in same direction of the crash was attempting to pass other vehicles,” said Major Darce Weil. “[The driver] lost control, entered the closed down area where we were conducting that post-crash care, and struck our trooper’s vehicle.”

Trooper Cameron Gill had just gotten out of his patrol car when it happened.

“It could have been 45 seconds to a minute later,” he remembers. “I hear skid marks and the rear of my vehicle was collided by another vehicle that [was] attempting to pass.”

Nobody got hurt in that crash. CSP says the driver was charged with “failure to move over.” It's an old law that has been updated in recent years to create stricter penalties for offenders following the death of Trooper Cody Donahue. Several other troopers have died, struck by drivers while working on the side of the road.

“It's incredibly frustrating,” said Major Weil. “Colorado has had law on the books since 2005 to move over or slow down. Every state in the country has a similar law. The issue is...we are unable to get that message out appropriately to the traveling public to understand that.”

Major Weil said a second crash happened this week, while trooper, CDOT and tow vehicles were responding to a 2-vehicle commercial vehicle crash along I-25 near Castle Rock.

“We had substantial warning devices set up. In this case, approximately a half mile prior to that crash we had warning devices to include multiple trooper vehicles that were fully lit providing direction for motorists to move over and slow down, as well as a CDOT safety patrol vehicle that was directly behind our troopers that investigated that crash,” he said.

“Unfortunately, a driver disregarded all the warning signs, entered the closed area of our crash scene, attempted to avoid at the last minute the vehicles in front of them, hit the center median divider, then violently struck the CDOT safety patrol truck that had a driver inside of it.”

CSP said the driver and the CDOT employee both went to the hospital with minor injuries. 

The state is appealing to drivers to help them keep the road safe.

“I am concerned for my officers’ safety, for the employees of CDOT, I’m concerned for all roadway workers, and most importantly I am concerned for the public,” Major Weil said.

“Here’s what we’re asking – we need the public to slow down and or move over. It’s very simple. We will provide early warning for you when you’re out on roadway to see we are out there if you cannot safely move over to another lane and remove yourself from that area, we need you to slow down.”




Before You Leave, Check This Out