A two-mile stretch of a Denver freeway reopened Saturday after being closed for five hours because of a traffic pileup.
Denver police said a female passenger died after her car struck a semitrailer. Thirty other people were hurt in a series of three crashes on northbound Interstate 25 between Logan Street and University Boulevard.
Police said a total of 104 vehicles were involved in the mishap that started around 10:30 a.m. The closed stretch of highway reopened just before 4 p.m.
A brief but intense period of heavy snow fell late Saturday morning, police said, which made the pavement slick and left many drivers unable to adjust to the sudden change in driving conditions.
Mike Perez of Aurora was one of the drivers caught in the pileup. He escaped unharmed, but shaken.
"It became white-out conditions," he said. "Next thing you know, everybody starts to run into each other. It became a chain reaction. I was bounced around like a pinball. When I hit my brakes, I rear-ended a vehicle. Then I felt five or six hits from all directions."
Vehicles smashed into each other and, in some instances, landed atop each other. Medical personnel rushed to take the injured to three local hospitals and accident investigators scrambled to gather information so that tow truck drivers could remove wrecked vehicles from the scene.
Most of the damaged vehicles initially were towed to a stadium parking lot near South High School.
Authorities did not provide details about the extent of injuries to crash victims.
Police said the investigation into exactly how the pileup started could take at least a week to finish.