A man driving a red F-250 hit a silver Chevrolet Impala shortly before 3 p.m. Tuesday on U.S. Highway 160/491 about 3 miles northeast of Towaoc, according to a witness at the scene.
The man was passing traffic in a work zone, according to Michael Vitez of Farmington, who was several vehicles behind the westbound F-250.
“A mile-and-a-half back, he passed me on the shoulder. He sideswiped a guardrail. I thought he was going to take the front of my van off. I was going 65, and he passed me like I was standing still,” Vitez said.
Colorado State Patrol Sgt. James Saunders said the driver of the pickup hit a car in Cortez shortly before the crash.
Saunders, who said he did not have the names of the drivers, said a man driving the silver Impala suffered serious injuries and was flown by helicopter to San Juan Regional Medical Center in Farmington. The man driving the F-250 was taken by ambulance to Southwest Memorial Hospital in Cortez, he said.
Saunders said the red pickup, which was westbound on the section of highway, crossed the centerline of traffic in a work zone and hit the eastbound silver Impala head-on.
The call reporting the crash came in to the State Patrol at 2:55 p.m., Saunders said.
Another eyewitness, DJ Ewing, who is from Louisiana and was headed to Texas, also said the driver of the red pickup was trying to pass traffic in the work zone.
“He passed everybody. He was smoking,” said Ewing, who was parked on the side of the highway when the red pickup came through.