Fatal Head-On Claims Life of Leadville Male on Hwy 91
UPDATE: 5 p.m. © Leadville Today
A fatal head-on collision took the life of one Leadville male and left another critically injured after a two vehicle accident closed Highway 91 near Copper Mountain this morning (Feb. 2,2016).
According to Public Information Officer with the Colorado State Patrol, Trooper Reid was able to confirm the identities of the two Leadville males involved in this morning’s accident.
Passenger Jose Perez-Hernandez, 26 of Leadville died on scene.
The driver of 2003 VW Jetta was Eduardo Baltazar Benitoez, 23 of Leadville who was transported to St. Anthony’s in Denver where he is listed in critical condition.
The two men were traveling on Highway 91 north between Leadville and Copper Mountain when their vehicle crossed into the lane of oncoming traffic at mile marker 20, near the Copper Mountain Resort. Their car slammed head-on into a south bound 2015 Ford F-150 truck driven by Heather Rath, 41 of Alma, Colorado. Trooper Reid added that Rath had suffered minor injuries from the crash and was also transported to St. Anthony’s .
The time of the accident was 7:10 a.m.,when the morning commute for hundreds of Lake County residents who travel the stretch of highway to work and do business in neighboring Summit County is getting underway. Recent storm patterns have brought considerable amounts of snow to the high country, measuring more than 2 feet in some areas.
“They did lose control on the icy roadway,” said Trooper Reid, indicating that highway conditions played a factor.
As is the way in the new media, reports on social media outlets from Leadville Today readers came in before anything official. First, commuters wanted other motorists to know that they shouldn’t head in that direction, posting that: Fremont Pass “will be closed possibly for the next 4 hours. . . . a friend of mine was trying to get to work in Frisco and she and tons of other people (including beer trucks) were turning around in the middle of the road to head back to Leadville,” Ashley Nicole Eubank posted on the Leadville Today Facebook Page.
Secondly, messages of good wishes and prayers were posted on social media, as thoughts turned to the hundreds of family and friends that make the daily commute to earn a living. To that end, Leadville Today will keep readers informed of any memorial services or support events for the families.
A Piece of Mars Comes to Leadville’s Mining Musuem
The National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum (NMHF&M) announced yesterday, February 1, that it has received a donation of a piece of a meteorite that originated on Mars.
Matt Morgan of Lakewood, Colo. who collects extraterrestrial meteorites, gave the NMHF&M a 6.4 gram slice of a Martian lherzolitic shergottite found in 2013 at Locality NWA 7755 in Morocco. Only seven meteorites of this type are known to exist. Most meteorites from Mars are found in hot deserts or Antarctica, where they remain uncovered by vegetation after hitting the Earth.
“We are excited to receive this generous donation and expect to display the meteorite in the near future, probably alongside meteorites that originated on the Moon in our ‘Expanding Boundaries’ exhibit,” said NMHF&M Executive Director Stephen Whittington.
Most shergottites have a basaltic composition that is similar to what space probes have determined is the composition of the Martian surface. They have low aluminum content and high iron content, which sets them apart from rocks originating in the Earth’s crust. Lherzolitic shergottites crystalized on Mars 180 million years ago. Meteor impacts in the northern hemisphere of Mars probably ejected them into outer space.
The mission of the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum is to tell the story about mining, its people, and its importance to the American public. The museum is open year-round. “Expanding Boundaries: Harrison Schmitt and the New Mining Frontier” is a permanent exhibit that explores the future of mining in outer space.
Readers can visit the NMHF&M website for details. www.mininghallofame.org.