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Spin-off accidents close I-70 near Vail for hours; road reopens just after 10 p.m.

Stranded drivers stuck for hours
Posted at 9:44 PM, Jan 09, 2017

VAIL, Colo. -- Multiple spin-off accidents forced the closure of I-70 eastbound east of Vail Monday evening, and stranded drivers for hours in the snow.

Heavy, wet snow combined with high winds to create dangerous driving conditions in the mountains.

“I-70 has been shut down all day,” said Sarah Whitehead, a trucker who was stuck in the ice storm in Grand Junction Monday morning and then hit the closure at Vail Monday evening. “They said they opened it, and we got down here, put the chains on and now it’s closed again. I want out of here.”

Drivers waiting for hours found ways to pass the time.

Hamad Bhatti and Kamila Kostka were parked on the side of the service road, binge-watching the TV show "Gotham."

“It’s not too bad,” said Bhatti. “We’re really hoping we don’t have to get some $300 hotel room in Vail for the night."

But after hours of being closed, CDOT reopened the gate to the highway around 10:10 p.m.

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