One killed, one injured in construction zone accident

An elderly woman is dead and an elderly man was hospitalized following a one-vehicle accident in a construction zone west of Grand Junction early this morning, according to Grand Junction police.

The Mesa County Coroner’s Office identified the deceased woman as Lillian Aiko Cummins, 81, of Fairfield, Calif. She died as a result of blunt force injuries and her manner of death is an accident.

Police say a driver in his 70s exited westbound Interstate 70 at U.S. Highway 6&50, which is exit 26, went off the off-ramp and collided with a large backhoe parked off the roadway at about 3 a.m.

A female passenger in her 80s had to be extricated from the car and was taken to the hospital, where she died. The driver also was taken to the hospital, although the extent of his injuries wasn’t immediately known, police said.

Police said the man and woman were passing through the Grand Valley. They didn’t identify the relationship between the couple.

The westbound off-ramp at exit 26 was closed for five hours while officers investigated the accident. It has since reopened.

The crash occurred in a construction zone where workers are building a diverging diamond interchange.

Read the full story in Thursday’s Daily Sentinel.


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