Flashing lights on top of police patrol car

The roof of a police patrol car at night, with the blue and red lights flashing.

There were more than 20 car crashes in Denver in less than 10 hours as drivers struggled to cope with snowy and icy conditions on Thursday, the Denver Police Department said.

From midnight to 7:30 a.m., there were 20 traffic crash reports within city limits, police said, with additional crashes occurring later in the morning.

About 9 a.m., a three-vehicle crash at Leetsdale Drive and South Monaco Parkway resulted in serious injuries and lane closures in both directions.

The conditions of those involved are unknown, police said.

Police attribute the uptick in accidents to recent weather.

After a weekend of snowfall and bitter cold, light snow began falling again in Denver on Wednesday afternoon and continued into the early hours Thursday.

Crashes began in Denver as early as Wednesday evening. Police said there was a two-vehicle crash at 8 p.m. at Wolff Street and West Fourth Avenue.

No injuries were reported, but one of the drivers fled the scene, leading to a shelter-in-place order for the surrounding neighborhood. The driver was found and taken into custody hours later.

Despite the increase in accidents, there have not been any reports of vehicles being stolen while warming up in Denver — a common trend during cold weather.

To prevent accidents, police recommend drivers clear all lights, windows and mirrors of snow and other obstructions, drive with headlights on and allow for extra stopping distance when driving on snow and ice.

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