Commuter traffic was backed up significantly on U.S. Highway 40 on Tuesday morning after an accident involving a semitrailer and two other vehicles. The driver of the white Jeep was ejected from his vehicle.

Photo by Melinda Dudley

Commuter traffic was backed up significantly on U.S. Highway 40 on Tuesday morning after an accident involving a semitrailer and two other vehicles. The driver of the white Jeep was ejected from his vehicle.

Parachute man seriously injured in US 40 crash

Driver ejected after colliding with semitrailer Tuesday morning

— A Parachute man sustained serious but non-life-threatening injuries Tuesday morning when he was ejected from his Jeep Cherokee after colliding with a semitrailer on U.S. Highway 40.

Richard Archambeau, 50, lost control of his Jeep while driving east on U.S. 40 shortly after 7 a.m. Tuesday between Steamboat II and Steamboat Springs city limits. Archambeau's SUV struck the guardrail and fishtailed across the highway into oncoming traffic, Colorado State Patrol Sgt. Scott Elliott said.

The right rear side of Archambeau's Jeep was struck by an oncoming semitrailer in the westbound lane. The force of the collision ripped apart the back end of the Jeep, which came to rest north of the highway among a swath of debris, and caused the Conway Freight semitrailer to jack-knife across the westbound lane, Elliott said.

Although he was wearing his seatbelt, Archambeau was ejected though the hole in the back of the Jeep, Elliott said. Archambeau was transported to Yampa Valley Medical Center with several broken bones, Elliott said.

"He was incredibly lucky," Elliott said.

Archambeau was listed in fair condition Tuesday afternoon at YVMC, hospital spokeswoman Christine McKelvie said.

The collision caused delays for morning commuters, as traffic on U.S. 40 was restricted to one lane for more than two hours after the crash. The driver of the semitrailer, 36-year-old Michael Hope, of Brighton, was not injured, Elliott said.

Archambeau was driving about 50 mph when he lost control, which is the speed limit on that section of U.S. 40, Elliott said. However, his speed was a factor in the crash because he was traveling too fast for conditions, Elliott said. Archambeau was cited for careless driving.

"The road was a sheet of ice," Elliott said.

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