Sunday, May 30, 2004
Hayden Two Aurora women died and a Craig man and his son were seriously injured Sunday in a collision on U.S. Highway 40 near Hayden, the Colorado State Patrol reported.
The women were traveling west in a red Honda when they veered into the eastbound lane and collided with a blue Subaru, said Trooper Rick Kaspar of the State Patrol, the lead investigator on the accident.
Routt County Coroner Rob Ryg pronounced the women dead at the scene. The women were identified as Ida Mae Hall, 63, and Julia Irene Williams, 85.
Hunter Seim, 35, of Craig, was driving the Subaru and his son, 3-year-old Wyatt Seim, was riding in the back of the vehicle.
The Seims were taken by ambulance to Yampa Valley Medical Center in Steamboat Springs, where they were expected to be kept overnight, Kaspar said. He described their injuries as serious but not life threatening. Both were conscious when they were taken to the hospital.
A nursing supervisor at Yampa Valley Medical Center reported late Sunday night that Seim and his son were both in stable condition.
The accident occurred at 4:20 p.m. near mile marker 110 just east of Hayden, Kaspar said.
Witnesses indicated the red Honda had been driving erratically for several miles prior to the accident, Kaspar said.
Kaspar said the Honda drove off the north side of the road, and the driver overcorrected and lost control. The car rotated and skidded across the westbound lane into the eastbound lane, Kaspar said
The Honda had spun and was facing east when the collision occurred, Kaspar said.
Because of the report of erratic driving, Kaspar said the State Patrol will investigate whether alcohol or another substance impaired the driver of the Honda. Blood was taken from the driver for a toxicology test, which is standard procedure in a fatality, Kaspar said.
Results of the test should be available in a week.
Kaspar said there is no indication that Seim had been drinking.
Jim Buford of Hayden drove upon the scene. It was devastating, he said.
"God was it terrible," Buford said. "Both cars were just mangled."
Hayden Fire and Rescue used the Jaws of Life to cut the top off the red Honda, said Carla Lightizer, an officer with the Hayden Police Department. The women were wearing their seat belts, Lightizer said.
At least 15 people responded to the accident from the State Patrol, the Routt County Sheriff's Department, Hayden Police Department and West Routt Fire/Rescue.