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Pickup crashes into three vehicles Saturday on U.S. Highway 160 west of Durango

Driver may have suffered a medical issue, causing him to swerve into oncoming traffic

U.S. Highway 160 was closed for about 1½ hours Saturday after a pickup truck swerved into oncoming traffic striking three vehicles, according to the Colorado State Patrol.

The crash occurred about 2:20 p.m. near mile marker 79, just west of Lightner Creek Road (County Road 207).

No serious injuries were reported, although the driver of the pickup was taken to Mercy Regional Medical Center in what appeared to be a serious or critical condition, said Cpl. Jonathan Silver with the State Patrol.

Troopers suspect the driver of the pickup suffered a medical issue, which caused him to abruptly cross into oncoming traffic, Silver said. Troopers are unsure if the driver’s condition after the crash was the result of the accident or the medical issue he suffered leading up to the crash.

“The passenger compartment (of the pickup) ended up being severely damaged,” Silver said. “I’m sure he sustained injuries, but what they were I don’t know.”

The pickup was traveling westbound toward Cortez and the three vehicles were traveling eastbound.

Silver said traffic was backed up about 4 or 5 miles as a result of the highway closure, which lasted from 2:24 to 3:47 p.m. It was also a busy travel time, he said.

The crash site took longer than normal to clear because of the number of vehicles involved, including one that had a camper shell on it that got knocked off the vehicle, Silver said.

The exact cause of the crash remained under investigation this week.

"It was just a big disaster, and it took a while to clean up," Silver said.

shane@durangoherald.com

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