Rifle woman killed in traffic accident | CraigDailyPress.com

Rifle woman killed in traffic accident

Paul Shockley

A head-on, two-vehicle collision Friday west of Meeker killed a 74-year-old woman, sent another to the hospital and closed a state highway most of the afternoon.

The accident, at about 1 p.m. on State Highway 64 near milepost 48.5, happened as an eastbound Chevy Barreta went off the right shoulder of the road, colliding with delineator post, according to the Colorado State Patrol.

After impact the car, driven by Shirley Kathleen Cook of Rifle, came back onto the road for another 338 feet, then traveled into the westbound lane before overcorrecting and sending the car onto the south shoulder, authorities report.

Troopers say the car was moving back onto the road, and began “rotating into a broadside slide” into the westbound lane when it collided head-on with a semi truck that was hauling a load of gas.

Both vehicles skidded off the south shoulder, exploding into flames.

Cook was killed instantly, while the semi’s driver, 75-year-old James Eastman of Grand Junction, escaped serious injury but was taken to Pioneer Hospital in Meeker, according to troopers.

The accident closed the highway for about six hours and Moffat County’s Hazardous Materials Unit did respond to the scene.

Paul Shockley can be reached at 824-7031 to at pshockley@craigdailypress.com.

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