Crash ignites two Jeeps

flames and firefighterBarbara Lawlor, Gilpin County. It looked like a gladiator event between machines.

On Saturday evening, August 9, a white Jeep with a soft top carrying four passengers left its northbound lane on Highway 119 outside of Rollinsville and veered into the southbound lane where it collided head-on with a maroon Jeep carrying two people.
two firefighters

Although people were injured in the first Jeep, everyone was able to get out of the vehicle before flames began licking around the engine and spreading into the engine of the second Jeep. The Jeeps were crunched into each other in the southbound lane.

Traffic was stopped and diverted up Lump Gulch as a steady stream of mountain visitors began their afternoon journey back to the flatlands. Gilpin County Deputies directed traffic and Timberline Fire Protection District sent firefighters from all directions to control the blaze. Recent rains and no wind also kept the flames from spreading into the grass and trees on the side of the highway.

Within minutes flames engulfed the vehicles, windows were blown out, and tires exploded. Black, oily smoke billowed from the burning fluids.

Two of the passengers from the first vehicle were treated and transported to St. Anthony’s Hospital, one with serious injuries, and the two from the other Jeep waited for State Patrol officers.
putting out flames

The burnt shells of the Jeeps were hauled away and the debris cleared from the road. Highway 119 was opened by around 5 p.m.

Barbara Lawlor

Barbara is a reporter for The Mountain-Ear.