"Somebody was looking over them," was the only way Colorado State Patrol Capt. Doyle Eicher of Troop 6B in Frisco, could describe the lack of serious injury from an accident that occurred Wednesday just west of the Eisenhower Tunnel.
"Even with the injuries they suffered, they were extremely lucky to be in the shape they were," Eicher said.
Craig resident Nanci Scarboro, 31, was traveling east on I-70 with her daughters, Samantha, 1, and Kristen Romero, 10, and with Kerbin Sharp, 43, and Janet Teter. A mile west of the Eisenhower Tunnel, Scarboro lost control of her 1998 Dodge pickup, and the truck plunged down a 270-foot embankment, rolling over numerous times. Only the two children were wearing seatbelts.
"One of my thoughts is that the way they were seated, packed into an extended cab truck, might have helped," Eicher said. "Otherwise luck. Luck is the only way to say it."
Teter suffered the worst injuries of the accident, a separated shoulder and broken collarbone. She was taken to St. Antonies Central Hospital in Denver, where she underwent surgery Wednesday night to repair her collarbone. The others suffered only lacerations, and were treated at Summit Medical center and released.
The cause of the accident is still unclear.
"The roads were wet, there was icy road treatment, but we responded well over the speed limit to the scene with no problems," Eicher said. "A causal factor could be inattentive driving anything that distracted the driver, even something like tuning the radio but we don't know what happened yet.
"I have seen other accidents in this area, but I've never seen anyone walk away from it, not like that," he said.