Thursday, September 14, 2006

Genesee bus crash injures 7 Genesee bus crash injures 7 bus crash injures 7:
As many as seven bus passengers received minor to moderate injuries late Wednesday when the driver rolled the bus while swerving to miss a dead bull elk lying on Interstate-70, officials said today.

The elk had been struck five minutes earlier by a Dodge pickup truck, said Gilbert Mares, Colorado State Patrol spokesman.

The International 2005 bus owned by Sunset Luxury Limousine was westbound on I-70 about two miles west of Genesee when the driver saw the bull elk in the road.

He swerved the bus onto the right shoulder of the highway to miss the elk, hit the embankment and the bus rolled over on its left side, Mares said.
Well, that sure sounds familiar. During the early 1990s, the exit to our house was right about there. And after I was divorced, my daughter's mother was hit by an elk at the upper Genesee exit to I-70 as she pulled off to drop my daughter off. Luckily, said daughter was too young to be sitting in the front seat, because that is where the elk ended up.

They are a nuisance around there. The herd that comes through my parents' yard in Genesee, about 4 miles from there, numbered about 40 when they moved in 20 years ago. The herd is probably twice that big now. Of course, they aren't as bad as the deer, one of whom I almost hit last weekend as it sauntered across a major street at dusk. If it is vegitation, they will eat it, and if it is colored (i.e. flowers), they go crazy for it. This comes from better than a half a century of no hunting and few preditors.

Right around that area, there are 2 1/2 elk herds. There is the one right by my parents' house, and then there is the one around where the accident occurred, in the area of the Bison Overlook, running along that two miles west of the upper Genesee exiton I-70. The other 1/2 herd is fenced across the road from the bison, and when they move the bison to the south enclosure under the road, they move the elk to a further south enclosure. Interestingly, those elk stay in the enclosure, but the herd that the just deceased elk came from occasionally jump the (quite high) fence to mingle there, before jumping back out.

I should also note that the overpass at the Bison Overlook / Upper Genesee exit has won numerous architectual awards. As I-70 comes up Mtn. Vernon Canyon, it is headed almost due west as it summits. But the bridge is tilted slightly to the north in order to frame the Continental Divide as you come across the summit there. When I used to live 2 miles down the road there, and would commute back from Denver at night, coming through that was always the highlight of the trip home.

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