UPDATE: Wednesday’s weird temperature reading; one dead after crash with snow plow on U.S. 34 east of Kersey
February 2, 2017
UPDATE, 1:30 p.m. — The National Weather Service on Wednesday reported the day's high temperature was 57 degrees, and some wondered how that was possible given the snow and cold. Kyle Fredin at the National Weather Service in Boulder reported that readings come from the University of Northern Colorado, which takes its readings over a 24-hour period from 4 p.m. the day before to 4 p.m. the day of. In this case, in that time frame Greeley indeed hit a high of 57, likely at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Fredin said, which made it register as Wednesday's high.
Temperatures began to plummet through the evening into Wednesday, however. He said the day's high at 1 p.m., taken from the Greeley-Weld County Airport, was 28 degrees.
UPDATE, 1:10 p.m. — Westbound traffic is closed on U.S. 34 after a fatal crash occurred a few miles east of Kersey involving a snow plow and another vehicle.
According to Colorado State Patrol spokesperson Trooper Josh Lewis, troopers responded to mile marker 128, about 10:50 a.m. They found a 2003 Honda SUV collided with a large 1992 snow plow. Lewis said information is still sparse.
"We're in the very early investigative stages," he said.
Colorado Department of Transportation spokesperson Jared Fiel said the agency is investigating the crash.
"We have folks going out there right now," Fiel said. "My understanding is the driver of the other vehicle was killed."
Fiel did not know whether the driver of the snow plow was injured.
He said he's heard of crashes involving snow plows before, and added he'd seen an unusually high number of them last year. He said Colorado State Patrol troopers always interview CDOT drivers after a crash, and he added the department has its own, in-house procedures it conducts to ensure the drivers make a full recovery.
"We have an in-house counseling staff, because obviously this has an impact on people," Fiel said.
While Fiel said he did not have details about this crash, he said crashes with snow plows often occur when drivers of other vehicles try to pass the plows on the road, and spin out in front of them.
"We have a lot of vehicles out on the road, and sadly they get involved in incidents a lot," he said.
He also emphasized the need to be cautious on the road around snow plows.
UPDATE, 9:35 A.M. – Colorado State Patrol spokesperson Trooper Josh Lewis said road conditions are still dangerous in Weld County and drivers should take extra precautions.
"We're still covering crashes as we speak," he said. "We certainly did see a higher number of crashes…it was a treacherous and fatal night for northern Colorado."
He added the ice is still on the road and drivers should be careful.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.