One girl was seriously injured and three other people suffered minor injuries Saturday night when a van hit a tow truck on U.S. Highway 160 just west of Bayfield in front of Lon’s Automotive.
Upper Pine Fire Protection District Chief Bruce Evans said two sisters were in a white van that collided with a tow truck about 9:30 p.m. The younger sister, who was the van passenger, suffered severe injuries and was flown to Children’s Hospital in Colorado Springs, he said.
Evans said the girl’s older sister was driving the van.
Three other people, the woman driving the van; the driver of the tow truck; and a minor, who was a passenger in the tow truck; all suffered minor injuries, Evans said.
He did not have names or ages for any of the injured people.
“It was a horrific crash; you can see where the tow truck just ripped open the side of the van like a can opener, causing massive damage,” he said.
The girl who suffered serious injuries had be extracted from the vehicle by a crew from the Upper Pine Fire Protection District. Evans estimated she was trapped in the vehicle for about 6½ minutes.
The call originally came in as a car fire, but Evans said that proved incorrect. Instead, engine smoke was coming from the van after the crash, but the van was not on fire.
The tow truck was in the area to retrieve another vehicle that was on the side of the road.
A registered nurse, on her way home from a shift at the emergency room of Mercy Regional Medical Center, stopped to provide aid to the injured parties and also assisted the crew from Upper Pine, Evans said.
In addition, a former volunteer firefighter also stopped to assist, he said.
Evans said the road was wet after a rain shower, but the road was not icy and the area wasn’t foggy. He added he did not have further details about how the accident occurred, but he said the Colorado State Patrol is investigating.
Calls to the Colorado State Patrol were not immediately returned Sunday evening.