Just after 1:20 Monday afternoon, two cars collided head on along Interstate 70. One person was confirmed dead at the scene, and a woman and baby were rushed to the hospital. That woman died just four hours after the crash. The baby continued to recover at St. Mary's Tuesday night. His condition was upgraded from critical to fair.
Police say although it's unclear exactly how it got there, a silver Dodge Caravan was traveling westbound in the eastbound lane of I-70. When it got close to the 23 Road overpass, they say it slammed head on into a red Monte Carlo traveling the correct way on the interstate. Authorities say both cars were traveling at speeds of at least 60 miles per hour.
"I heard this great big old boom," said eyewitness Vita Sisco.
It was a boom that Sisco and other eyewitnesses say they won't soon forget. As they ran outside to see what the noise might be, they saw the remnants of a car and mini van that collided head on. It was a sight that had nearby workers hopping over the fence to help.
"We saw smoke barreling out of the vehicle, so we started to run and get some fire extinguishers," said Matthew Gergert, a Geotechnial Engineering employee who rushed to the scene.
"It was kind of like instinct, a reaction," said Jesse Slaughter, another worker who hopped the fence to help.
They say they ran outside without hesitation, but as the ambulances and police started to arrive, and the smoke from the cars cleared, they say what had actually happened hit them hard.
"Whenever I saw the injuries and whenever I saw them pulling the baby out was when I knew that this was not a good situation," said Slaughter. "That something very tragic did happen."
A baby was removed from the Monte Carlo and transported to the hospital right away. Crews had to work for nearly an hour to extricate a woman out of the Caravan. For the driver of the Monte Carlo, there was nothing they could do except cover the body with a yellow sheet.
"It's always something you don't want to see -- people harmed, injured, and obviously dying," said Officer TJ Rix of the Grand Junction Police Department. "It's even worse when you have children involved."
While they still can't believe what happened, workers at Geotechnical Engineering say they're proud to have played a small part in rescue efforts.
"Hopefully what we did will help out in this situation," said Gergert.
The stretch of I-70 between Highway 6 & 50 and 24 Road was closed for just over four hours as crews worked to save the victims and clean up the road.