GJ women die in I-70 wreck on east plains

Two Grand Junction women died in a four-vehicle crash during a blizzard on Interstate 70 near Limon on Saturday night, according to the Colorado State Patrol.

Ginger M. Gillespie, 48, and Lois A. Kelton, 77, died when the blue 2004 Jeep Liberty they were in was struck from behind by a tractor-trailer.

The Liberty, along with other traffic on the highway, was moving at about 15 mph because of the icy conditions and poor visibility. The tractor-trailer, though, was traveling at about 55 mph.

The force of the crash pushed the Jeep into a pickup; the Jeep then went off the road and burst into flames.

The two women, whose relationship wasn’t released, died on the scene. Both were wearing seat belts. State Trooper Gilbert Mares said a coroner’s report will reveal the cause of death.

After the Jeep went off the road, the tractor-trailer continued into the pickup, which then crashed into a Chevrolet Suburban.

No one in any of the other three vehicles sustained serious injuries.

The crash happened on eastbound I-70 about six miles west of Limon during a harsh blizzard on icy and snow packed roads.

“The roads were treacherous,” Mares said. “Those types of situations are no fun; it’s very hard to see and it’s very dangerous.”

The weather also hampered the emergency personnel responding to the scene of the crash, he said.

The driver of the tractor-trailer, Richard E. Widmier, 62, of Burleson, Texas, was arrested and is in the Elbert County Detention Facility on suspicion of vehicular homicide, criminal negligent homicide, third-degree assault, failure to provide proof of insurance and reckless driving.

No bond has been set for Widmier.


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