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Drivers say the key is to take it slow

Drivers say the key is to take it slow

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Drivers battled snowy and icy roads Tuesday night but said the key is to take it slow. It's a message snow plow drivers hope to drive home after recent crashes involving drivers and snow plows.

The Colorado State Patrol says a woman was taken to the hospital after slamming her SUV into a snow plow on Judge Orr Road Tuesday morning.

Troopers say the driver of the SUV, a 22-year-old pregnant woman, was driving eastbound on Judge Orr when she tried to pass a snow plow driving in front of her. That's when they say she slammed into another plow that was going westbound.

The woman was taken to the hospital with serious injuries. The snow plow driver was not hurt.

"It's shocking that people are in that much of a hurry. We are trying to make the roads as safe as we can and everybody's busy life, they can't wait for the plows for them to get it done," said Robert Evans with El Paso County Department of Transportation.

Last week, The Colorado State Patrol identified a man who died in a crash that closed down Highway 67 on Tuesday as Nathaniel Oehlke, 23, of Divide.

The accident happened at mile marker 57, which is about 4 miles north of Cripple Creek in Teller County.

Troopers say Oehlke was driving southbound on Highway 67 when he lost control of his pickup truck. The truck's left slide slammed into the snow plow's blade. Oehlke was not wearing a seat belt. He was killed in the accident.

The driver of the plow, Timothy Kirtley, 40, of Florissant tried to avoid the crash by driving onto the northbound shoulder.

Kirtley was wearing a seat belt and was not injured in the accident.

State Patrol investigators say the roads were icy and snow packed and that Oehlke may have been going too fast for the conditions.

"The road may appear to be clear when actually there is that thin layer of ice there and it can still be pretty slippery. Much easier to loose control," said Cpl. J.R. Benavides with Colorado State Patrol.

Drivers caution other drivers to take it slow on the roads.

"There is a lot of blowing snow, especially over monument pass. And it's an area that's prone to a lot of people tailgating and they're not letting up, which is kind of scary right now," said Nate Williams.

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