State Patrol hopes a serious crash involving a trooper will serve as a wake-up call for drivers as to just how dangerous driving carelessly near stopped emergency vehicles can be.
"It can be deadly," CSP said.
Trooper Adeline Roybal was investigating a crash Thursday night on I-70 near the Adams/Arapahoe county line when State Patrol says a van drifted into the shoulder and crashed into her parked vehicle. Roybal was inside. The force of impact pushed Roybal's vehicle into a second patrol vehicle which was also at the scene, then into the median and against the cable rail.
Roybal was wearing her seat belt, but still suffered serious injuries which required hospitalization. The two occupants in the van were not buckled up. The driver was seriously injured and the passenger moderately so.
State Patrol says Roybal and the other trooper had their emergency lights on.
"Please don't say, 'I didn't see you.' These lights can be seen for miles," State Patrol said in a tweet after the crash. Attached to the tweet was a photo of Roybal's badly mangled vehicle illuminated by bright patrol lights, to underscore their point.
State Patrol says they believe driver Ricardo Guzman, 40, was driving too fast for the icy conditions on the roadway--something which reportedly also played a role in the original crash Roybal was investigating. They do not believe drugs or alcohol were a factor.
Charges against Guzman are pending.
Roybal has been released from the hospital.
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