Two Serious Crashes, One Fatality, on Southern Colorado Highways

A two-vehicle wreck on the Southeast side of Salida shut down Highway 50 in both directions for five hours. State Patrol says the accident involved a semi-truck and a Mazda sedan. It happened just after 3:00 on Sunday afternoon. The driver of the Mazda, 57-year-old William Baker of Cotopaxi, was not wearing his seat belt at the time of the crash, and was taken to the hospital with serious injuries. Colorado State Patrol says the driver of the semi-truck was not injured.

The side fuel tank of the semi-truck was ripped open in the crash, and State Patrol says an an unknown amount of diesel fuel spilled across the entire width of the Highway 50, which required a HAZMAT response and clean-up. Officials say no diesel fuel entered the Arkansas River.

Alcohol and drugs are not suspected as a cause of the crash on Highway 50.

Another, separate accident closed Highway 285 at mm 190 (Kenosha Pass) near the town of Fairplay in Park County for four hours on Sunday afternoon. Authorities say this was an accident involving a car and a motorcycle. The motorcyclist was was killed.

Colorado State Patrol says the driver of a 1986 Kawasaki ZG1000, 55-year-old Paul Mattes of Aurora, was southbound on Colorado 285, when the driver failed to maintain control in a right hand curve. The Kawasaki traveled into the on oncoming traffic lane and collided head-on with a 2007 GMC Sierra.

Mattes, on the Kawasaki, died from his injuries. Investigators say he was wearing a helmet and glasses at the time of the crash.

No one else was injured, and officials say that speed, alcohol, or drugs are not suspected as a contributing factor in the crash.

Stay with 11 News and for more information as updates become available.