Four people injured in major traffic crash on U.S. 34 in west Greeley | MyWindsorNow.com

Four people injured in major traffic crash on U.S. 34 in west Greeley

Nate A. Miller
nmiller@greeleytribune.com

Four people were taken to the hospital — one in critical condition — and traffic was backed up for more than a mile in each direction Thursday morning following a three-vehicle crash on westbound U.S. 34 in west Greeley.

Greeley police spokesman Sgt. Joe Tymkowych said in a news release the crash happened just after 9:30 a.m. when a when a flatbed pickup was headed west on U.S. 34, approaching Weld County Road 17 and rear-ended a second pickup, which then spun and hit a Ford Escape.

One man, Douglas Buehler, 34, of Loveland, was trapped inside the flatbed truck he was driving, and emergency crews had to extricate him. He was taken to Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland in critical condition. Three other victims also were taken to MCR for treatment of their injuries.

Four Greeley Fire Department fire trucks responded to the scene, along with three ambulances and numerous police units. Because of the location of the crash and the number of responding emergency service vehicles and personnel, the highway was closed for approximately 90 minutes. Motorists were diverted at Colo. 257.

Still, traffic was snarled and cars stretched for about a mile and a half in each direction on U.S. 34. However, by about 11 a.m., the roadway had been reopened and traffic was flowing normally.

Authorities determined Buehler caused the crash when the flatbed struck the second pickup, driven by Juan Carlos Hernandez, 30, of West Valley, Utah. Buehler will be cited for careless driving resulting in injury, according to the release.

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Brian Minear, 49, of Sunrise Beach, Texas, was the driver of the Ford Escape.

Hernandez and Minear suffered minor injuries. Oscar Hernandez — the brother of Carlos Hernandez — was a passenger in the second pickup truck. He suffered injuries to his ankle and ribs, Tymkowych said in an email.