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A 49-car pileup in Denver left 17 people injured, closed road for hours

Posted at 11:09 AM, Feb 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-17 13:56:11-05

DENVER – Seventeen people were injured following a 49-car pileup in Denver on Saturday afternoon.

The crash was reported by Denver police shortly after 4 p.m. but it wasn’t immediately clear how serious the situation out on the roads was until police said 30 cars were piled up at inbound Peña Boulevard just north of 56th Ave. about an hour later.

Just after 7 p.m., police updated the number of vehicles involved to 49.

"It was like an ice rink, cars everywhere," said Hani A., of Blue Diamond Towing. "I didn't see any snow plows using salt or mag chloride."

The tow truck driver told KMGH that many of the cars he saw were so damaged they may have been "totaled."

He shared photos and cell phone video of the icy road and damaged vehicles.

One of the cars towed from Peña belongs to Dylan Murphy, who was involved in a single car accident near Jackson Gap Street.

"I was at the light going about 10 miles an hour," Murphy said. "I tried to turn the wheel and (my car) didn't turn. It slid off and hit the curb."

Murphy said his SUV now has some front end alignment damage.

"I got the worst of it," he said. "It was a white-out and slushy. I noticed there were signs saying 'snow removal equipment,' but I didn't see any."

Murphy said he's grateful he wasn't involved in the big pile-up.

"It's scary," he said, "I'm glad I wasn't in it."

Denver International Airport, through their Twitter account, said inbound Peña was closed from 40th and 56th Ave. They advised people who were planning on flying out of Denver to allow for extra time.

Meanwhile, police warned that roads would be closed for some time, and alerted drivers to take alternate routes as officers worked to have the road reopened as soon as possible.

At least 14 of the injured were taken to the hospital with what appeared to be non-life-threatening injuries, according to police. Three of the injured were treated and released at the scene.

Peña Boulevard reopened at around 9:15 p.m.

The cause of the crash was not immediately released.