A Colorado State Patrol trooper was injured Wednesday in a crash that closed U.S. Highway 160 briefly between Hesperus and Mancos.
Colorado State Patrol Capt. Adrian Driscoll said Cpl. James Proctor was investigating a crash in the area about 3:30 p.m. when he was rear-ended.
He was about 4 miles east of Mancos when he was hit by a silver Toyota sedan, said Trooper Josh Lewis, a spokesman for Colorado State Patrol.
Proctor and the driver of the Toyota were taken to Mercy Regional Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries, Lewis said. Proctor suffered chest and neck injuries, Driscoll said.
Driscoll said Proctor was released Wednesday evening from Mercy.
“He’s doing fine,” Driscoll said. “He’s home resting.”
Driscoll said authorities believe the driver was impaired and was excessively speeding, though charges had not been filed as of Thursday morning.
“Once we’re ready, we’ll approach the district attorney with any charges,” he said.
The stretch of highway was closed around 3:30 p.m. “due to multiple crashes in the area,” according to COTrip.org. The highway reopened to single-lane alternating traffic as of 4 p.m., said Lisa Schwantes, Colorado Department of Transportation spokeswoman, and reopened fully around 5 p.m.
A cold front moving through the central part of the state Wednesday brought snow to Cortez and Durango but little accumulation at lower elevations. Highway 160 closed in both directions twice Wednesday after separate accidents on Mancos Hill, Schwantes said.
Winds from 20 to 30 mph, with gusts as high as 50 mph, could begin around sunset Wednesday in Cortez with strong gusts continuing through the night, said Meteorologist Michael Charnick.
“The real story will be later this evening when strong winds out of the north-northwest should begin blowing,” he said.
A wind advisory is in effect from noon through 10 p.m. Wednesday for the Four Corners, the Dolores and Animas river basins and southeast Utah.
A wind advisory means strong winds can make driving difficult and travelers should use extra caution.
In the central and northern parts of the state, the Colorado Department of Transportation is advising people to avoid driving along the Interstate 25, I-70 and I-76 corridors.
While only small and rapidly melting accumulations are likely at lower elevations, Charnick said Telluride could receive as much as 8 inches and Silverton could receive up to 6 inches.
The system is expected to move out of the area early Thursday with lingering snow possible in higher elevations, Charnick said.
Another small system is expected to move through Southwest Colorado on Friday bringing a chance of scattered thunderstorms to Cortez and a chance of a rain-snow mix to Durango, he said.
The weekend should be clear in Southwest Colorado except for the possibility of lingering early-morning snow on Saturday in the high country.
The Journal and Herald Staff Reporter Mary Shinn contributed to this story.