Family visiting Grand Junction injured in rollover
A van carrying a family traveling from Minnesota to Grand Junction to visit relatives rolled on Interstate 70 Wednesday afternoon, ejecting a teenager and sending several people to the hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.
The accident, which happened on westbound I-70 at mile marker 38 around 2:30 p.m., snarled traffic in both directions for at least two hours.
Colorado State Patrol Sgt. Jeff Lytle said the 19-year-old female driver of the van lost control, causing the vehicle to skid into the median and roll into the eastbound lanes.
He said troopers were looking into the family’s account that the driver tried to move into the right lane to take the Clifton exit, realized there was another car there, veered back into the left lane, overcorrected and lost control.
“It was a very violent crash,” Lytle said.
In addition to the 19-year-old driver, the van was carrying the woman’s 55-year-old father, her 48-year-old mother, her 16-year-old sister and her three brothers, ages 14, 17 and 18, Lytle said. Their names were not released.
Lytle said the 17-year-old boy was ejected, and two others had to be extricated. The other four got out of the van on their own. He said the father, the 17-year-old and possibly the mother were admitted to the hospital, with the most serious injuries consisting of broken bones.
Lytle said at least two people were likely not wearing seat belts — the 17-year-old and the father, who was tired from driving and lying on the seat.
Troopers initially shut down eastbound I-70 and directed traffic off the interstate at the Clifton exit.
Westbound traffic was reduced to one lane for a period of time.