An automobile wreck occurred at the Alpine Visitor Center parking lot in Rocky Mountain National Park, sending a vehicle flipping onto the tundra and seriously injuring three individuals in the process.

On Tuesday afternoon, a driver collided with a stopped vehicle while moving at a high rate of speed and traveling in the wrong direction. The stopped vehicle was in front of the Alpine Visitor Center at the time the accident occurred.

The fast moving vehicle pushed the stopped vehicle up onto the sidewalk, into the inbound entrance lane, over a rock filled median separating the visitor’s center from Trail Ridge Road, across the entirety of Trail Ridge Road, and then into the surrounding tundra. At this point, the previously stopped vehicle flipped near Ute Trail. The vehicle eventually stopped moving approximately 75 feet from Trail Ridge Road, landing on its tires.

An estimation of the speed at which the driver that allegedly instigated the collision was moving has not been released.

The vehicle that was hit had eight people inside, including children that were not restrained. Five of the passengers, including two adolescents, were transported by ambulance to a nearby hospital, three with serious injuries. No walking pedestrians were hit, though a park volunteer  was narrowly missed.

Details have not been released regarding why the accident occurred.

The Alpine Visitor Center is located at 11,796 feet above sea-level on Trail Ridge Road, a popular high-altitude scenic drive through the park. It’s said to be the highest building of its type within the National Park Service.

Editor’s Note: While driving around Colorado’s scenic spots, make sure you don’t get distracted by the big views. It’s also important to be aware of how altitude can effect you. The lack of oxygen at higher altitudes can cause lightheadedness and fainting.

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