Nine people have been killed in seven crashes investigated by the Colorado State Patrol in less than 72 hours, prompting Col. Matthew Packard, the agency’s chief, to denounce the “epidemic” of traffic fatalities.

The deaths — including two in El Paso County — bring the state’s total this year to 600.

“This is an epidemic that has to stop right now, and that responsibility lies in my hands and your hands,” Packard said in a video posted Thursday to social media. “Together, we are the only solution to this. We have to be better, Colorado. Lives depend on it.”

All of the crashes were caused by “selfish driving,” from impairment to driving carelessly or just not paying attention, Packard said.

“In fact, that’s the one common component: They are all preventable,” he said. “They’re preventable because people like you and I are willing to take the responsibility required to drive a car. So, take it. Step up. Be better. Let’s save lives in Colorado.”
Two people were killed in a crash Thursday morning on Colorado 105 in northern El Paso County, the State Patrol confirmed. The two-vehicle wreck was reported at 10:48 a.m. near Sierra Way.

A 2002 Acura sedan was westbound on Colorado 105 when the driver lost control and crossed over into an eastbound lane, where a 2011 Volvo semi slammed into it broadside, the State Patrol said. After the crash, both vehicles came to rest south of the highway.

The male driver of the Acura and a female passenger were killed, the State Patrol said. Neither was wearing a seat belt.

The driver of the truck, Christopher Murray, 51, was not injured.

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