The morning commute took longer than usual for drivers east of Durango, where a two-vehicle crash led to significant delays around the Elmore’s Corner intersection.
The crash occurred about 7:50 a.m. when a newer-model silver Ford F-150 attempted to turn left from U.S. Highway 160 onto Colorado Highway 172 and collided with an older-model white Chevy Tahoe traveling east toward Bayfield.
“They hit front-to-front, basically head-on,” said Trooper Jeff Chmielewski. “... Since it was sort of a head-on, we had some speed involved in the impact.”
The Chevy Tahoe rolled onto its left side, he said.
The driver of the Ford F-150, identified as Pablo Aguilar, 90, was taken to Mercy Regional Medical Center with moderate injuries. He was treated and transferred to another hospital, according to a hospital spokeswoman. His condition and location were not disclosed.
The driver of the Chevy Tahoe was treated on scene.
Both drivers wore seat belts, Chmielewski said.
No drugs, alcohol or excessive speed are suspected to be factors in the crash, he said.
Aguilar was cited with careless driving causing injury.
Highway 172 was closed at the intersection, and the La Plata County Sheriff’s Office set up detours to reroute traffic. Highway 160 remained open in both directions, but eastbound traffic was reduced to one lane. The delays lasted about an hour.
“It snarled traffic a little bit,” Chmielewski said. “... It’s important people are always paying attention to through-traffic and checking twice before making turns and pulling out into traffic.”