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Interstate through Colorado Rockies closed after multiple wrecks

DENVER (Reuters) - Multiple vehicle crashes caused by an early spring snowstorm near the ski resort of Vail prompted the closure of a major interstate through the Colorado Rocky Mountains on Tuesday, officials said.

A 25-mile stretch of Interstate 70 was closed in both directions for several hours late Tuesday afternoon about 75 miles west of Denver, the Colorado Department of Transportation reported on its website.

Colorado State Patrol Trooper Nate Reid said a series of wrecks and cars sliding off the highway prompted authorities to close the highway from Frisco to Vail.

The interstate was closed so emergency personnel and tow trucks could access the scene and there were reports of some minor injuries, he said.

Reid said some motorists were not prepared for the storm that created winter weather driving conditions in the high country.

"Once one starts, it's hard to control," Reid said.

Westbound lanes of the highway were re-opened by early evening, but eastbound traffic was still closed off, the transportation department said.

(Reporting by Keith Coffman; Editing by Dan Whitcomb)

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