Four Vehicle Crash on Hwy 17
By Mary Lowers
At about 6PM on August 18 the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) responded to an accident on Hwy 17 north of Hooper just before County Rd D in Saguache County. I was in a car heading south toward Sand Dunes Recreation and after our vehicle passed through the construction zone three south bound vehicles behind us were stopped in the north east lane.
We had continued north a few feet from the construction traffic stop and pulled off to the side of the south bound lane as a white Cadillac Escalade was barreling north at a speed that seemed to be ninety or one hundred miles per hour. We watched in horror as the Escalade plowed into the three vehicles stopped for construction in the north bound lane.
According to the CSP the 2005 Cadillac Escalade was driven by Bradley Meerfield of Alamosa. At the head of the line of stopped cars was a 2011 Chrysler Town and Country driven by Arthur Twitchell of Ocklawaha, FL. The second vehicle was a 2015 Chevy Tahoe driven by Elaine Johnson of Crestone. Cassandra Foxx of Moffat in a 2007 Dodge Magnum was the last vehicle in line.
First the out of control Escalade which by this time was trying to avoid the stopped vehicles struck the left rear of the second car in line, the Chevy Tahoe which was headed south stopped in the north bound lane due to construction. It continued in a north east direction travelling east and left the road. The Escalade then rolled once coming to a stop on its wheels in a south easterly direction. The rear window of the Chrysler Town and Country was blown out by flying debris.
Ms Foxx, driver of the Dodge Magnum was treated at the scene by paramedics for minor injuries. Escalade driver Mr Meerfield was transported by ambulance to SLV Regional Medical Center in Alamosa with serious bodily injuries. Alcohol and excessive speed are thought to be factors in the crash. Drivers ahead of our car noticed Mr Meerfield was also texting while driving.CSP is still investigating the accident.