Fiery pile-up on I-70 in Colorado leaves "multiple" fatalities, highway shut for morning rush

/ CBS News

An aerial photo from CBS Denver shows vehicles burning after an accident on Interstate 70 near Lakewood, outside Denver, left "multiple" fatalities. CBS Denver

A major interstate in Colorado was closed Friday morning as police investigated a fiery crash that left multiple people dead. Smoke billowed from the scene in Lakewood, just west of Denver, as flames incinerated vehicles.

Officials said it took hours for the fire to subside, and while they confirmed "multiple" fatalities, just how many people had been killed remained unclear.

One man caught video of the semi-truck allegedly responsible for the crash screaming past his car on the shoulder of Interstate 70. The truck driver was among the injured.

A witness said the resulting collisions caused numerous explosions. CBS Denver reported that 12 vehicles and three semis were involved in the fiery pileup.

A spokesperson for the Lakewood Police Department said at a Thursday evening news conference about 12 people were treated for injuries in area hospitals.

Colorado transport officials urged drivers to avoid the area altogether on Friday as the sections of the highway were expected to remain shut into the morning rush hour.

State officials were expected to give an update on the investigation and highway conditions at about 7 a.m. local time (9 a.m. Eastern).

First published on April 26, 2019 / 6:10 AM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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