Minor injuries in head-on collision | SteamboatToday.com

Minor injuries in head-on collision

Rabbit Ears Pass crash 'could have been a lot worse'

Gary E. Salazar

— A head-on collision Sunday on a wet Rabbit Ears Pass resulted in minor injuries to two passengers, a Colorado State trooper said.

A man and a woman whose names and ages were unavailable at press time were taken to Yampa Valley Medical Center for minor injuries about 5 p.m., said Colorado State Trooper Rick Kaspar.

“It looked bad,” Kaspar said of the accident that totaled a brown Dodge truck and a white Jeep Cherokee. “But everybody had their seat belts on and that is what saved everybody.”

The two adults were traveling with Douglas Davidson, 54, of Northglenn eastbound in the truck on U.S. 40 when the accident occurred about 10 miles east of Steamboat Springs.

Paul Bongiorno, 26, of Denver was traveling westbound and crossed over into the eastbound lane because of rain and traffic, Kaspar said.

Bongiorno was cited for careless driving.

Bongiorno “had to slow down because other vehicles in front of him slowed down because of the rain,” Kaspar said. “He hydroplaned and drifted into the eastbound lane.”

At the time, Davidson was traveling in the right lane on the double eastbound lane, Kaspar said.

“When Davidson saw the Jeep, he drifted into the passing lane and that is when the collision occurred.”

A shaken Bongiorno said the accident happened quickly.

“The rain was steady,” he said. “But when I rounded the curve it got intense. I crossed into the center lane, and I clipped the truck.

“It could have been a lot worse.”

Bongiorno’s Cherokee, which had extensive front-end and passenger-side damage, stopped at the edge of a drop-off. Davidson’s truck had extensive passenger-side damage. Both vehicles were towed from the scene.

As authorities investigated the accident and removed the vehicles, Routt County Sheriff’s deputies slowed traffic in both directions. At the time of the accident, Davidson was traveling home and Bongiorno was on his way to Steamboat Springs to visit his sister.

“I was minutes away from Steamboat,” Bongiorno said.

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