Multiple crashes caused by “brown-out” conditions.
On Saturday, November 10, 2012, at approximately 10:00 AM, The Colorado State Patrol, Prowers County Sheriff’s Office and the Lamar Police Department, responded to Colorado Hwy 287 between mile posts 73 and 74 for a report of a two vehicle crash caused by brown-out conditions. This location is in Prowers County, approximately two miles south of Lamar. At the time of the crash, dirt and sand were being blown across the highway by very high winds causing zero visibility.
During the State Patrol’s investigation Prowers County Sheriff’s Deputies and Lamar Police Officers were attempting to ensure the crash scene’s safety. Colorado Department of Transportation closed the road from Lamar to Springfield. The Lamar Police Department closed Highway 287 to southbound traffic shortly past College Road and traffic was briefly parked on the paved area between SECPA and ARPA offices.
Although the road was closed as soon as possible, two more crashes occurred, one resulting in serious injury. A 2013 Toyota driven by Dale Fuhrmeister of Lamar, Colorado, was travelling northbound on Hwy 287. As the Toyota entered the affected area, the driver attempted to slow down. The Toyota rear-ended a semi-trailer, driver by Michael Parterdge of Horn Lake, Mississippi, that was stopped in the road due to the original crash. Shortly after that crash, a northbound semi-tanker driven by Jeremiah Tawater of Kaufman, Texas was attempting to slow down when it rear-ended the Toyota. The tanker then ran off the left (west) side of the road coming to rest in the dirt field. The tanker was empty.
The driver of the Toyota sustained serious injuries and was transported to Parkview Hospital in Pueblo. The driver of the tanker sustained minor injuries and was transported to Prowers Medical Center. The driver of the semi-trailer was not injured.
If not for the efforts of all the agencies involved in this very dangerous situation, it would have been much worse (more crashes).
All law enforcement personnel responded to Prowers Medical Center to have dirt and sand flushed from their eyes.
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