AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – Sixteen cars, a semi truck and a school bus were involved in one of several icy pileups in Arapahoe County Friday morning.
Authorities said slick roads from fog and from the second straight morning of freezing drizzle led to a dangerous commute, particularly in the southeast part of the Denver metro area.
The weather conditions were the main factor in the pileup involving the school bus, which took place on Parker Road at approximately 6:30 a.m.
“Once it started it was just a chain reaction. Everybody just piled into everybody,” said driver Chris Perryman.
Tyetisha McMultry’s car (credit: CBS)
Tyetisha McMultry was one of several drivers whose cars was totaled.
“Cars start sliding and slipping and coming off the edges and I hit the median trying to avoid the car behind me but then cars hit me,” McMultry said. “But this guy over here, he saved me. He pulled me out.”
McMultry’s rescuer declined an interview request from CBS4. He actually ended up pulling several people from harm’s way.
One man was hit by a sliding car while he was standing on the side of the road but wasn’t seriously injured.
There were only a few other minor injuries in the pileup, and luckily no children were on the school bus.
Trooper Mike Honn from the Colorado State Patrol said the pileup was one of the worst he’s seen.
“I know on the interstates we can have up to 50 cars at some points, but you know, for here this has got to be up there, especially in my experience. In 15 years this is the most I’ve ever covered on this roadway,” he said.
Investigators said they are looking into whether or not aggressive driving may have contributed to the crashes, but they said it was the ice that was the main culprit.
Colorado Department of Transportation officials CBS4 checked with said there was left over de-icer present on much of Parker Road Friday morning and their crews were mainly focused on ice on bridges and overpasses.
Immediately after the pileup, a crew came by and placed sand on the road.
Later in the morning the roads in the area were mostly free of ice.