Canyon construction zone claims three lives

Three western Coloradans were killed when the vehicle they were in collided with a semitrailer early Sunday morning in Glenwood Canyon about 13 miles east of Glenwood Springs.

Brianda Zavala, 17, of Glenwood Springs, Jennifer Nevarez, 16, of Carbondale, and Albino Ortiz-Monge, 24, of Gypsum, died when the 2006 Audi car that Zavala was driving collided head-on with a semitrailer driven by Aurora’s Peter Zhuchok, 54, the Colorado State Patrol said in a news release.

Zhuchok was uninjured.

The crash was reported about 5:30 a.m. near milepost 129 in a construction zone, where all Interstate 70 eastbound traffic is shifted into the usual westbound lanes, creating one lane of traffic in each direction.

The Audi was traveling east, and the semitrailer was traveling west at the time of the crash.

Zavala was wearing her seat belt. The other two passengers in the backseat were not wearing seat belts, the State Patrol said.

All three died at the scene.

The roads were wet at the time of the crash, State Patrol reported, but the cause is still being investigated.

The crash closed I-70 in both directions for nearly four hours.


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