Accident victim blames snowplow

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The driver of a Subaru who caused a two-vehicle accident near Hayden last week has been cited by the Colorado State Patrol for careless driving that caused bodily injury.

Craig resident, Krystle Koran, 20, lost control of her car on U.S. Highway 40 west of Hayden on Jan. 2.

Her vehicle traveled into oncoming traffic and struck a pickup driven by Nathan Hitz, 37, of Craig.

Both vehicles came to rest off the road on their wheels.

Hitz was uninjured.

Koran suffered puncture wounds to her legs. The Subaru passenger, Brian Koran, 20, suffered a concussion and a separated shoulder, Krystle Koran said Friday.

Koran maintains that a snowplow in the adjacent lane threw heavy snow onto her windshield, momentarily blinding her.

She said the plow was going too fast, causing a rooster-tail of snow to fly into her lane.

Colorado State Patrol Sgt. Meirose said he took Koran's explanation into account. However, a snowplow in the act of plowing is not considered a vehicle. It is considered one of the "attendant circumstances" drivers encounter, such as icy conditions, the grade of the road, curves, traffic, etc.

In fact, if a snowplow and another vehicle collide, it is considered a one-vehicle accident, Meirose said.

"It would be just like hitting a guard rail," Meirose said.

Also, the drivers of the vehicles immediately in front and behind Koran's Subaru did not lose control of their vehicles.

Meirose said it was Koran's responsibility to maintain control of her vehicle despite the "attendant circumstances."

Koran said she wants to fight the four-point ticket because she thinks it's unfair that a snowplow cannot be considered at fault for a traffic accident.

She and her husband plan to write a letter of protest to Gov. Bill Owens.

Jeremy Browning can be reached at 824-7031 or jbrowning@craigdailypress.com

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