Olga Snowberger, the wife of Durango School District Superintendent Dan Snowberger, is recovering from hip-replacement surgery in the Denver area after she was injured Saturday in a multiple-vehicle crash east of Durango on U.S. Highway 160.
In an email forwarded to The Durango Herald by the district, Dan Snowberger said Olga Snowberger and he were involved in a 10-vehicle pileup at milepost 94 on U.S. Highway 160 around 11:45 a.m. Saturday.
“We were on our way home from a quick grocery shopping trip and encountered the accident that had already started on the hill near the Florida River. All vehicles were unable to gain traction and the hill and guardrails created quite a challenge,” he said.
Snowberger said his wife suffered injuries upon impact when a knee struck the dashboard causing a fracture in her knee and hip.
“Due to the positioning of the vehicles, she had to be extricated from the vehicle,” Snowberger said.
Snowberger said Olga and he were taken to Mercy Regional Medical Center where they remained briefly until the weather cleared and they were airlifted to St. Anthony Hospital in Lakewood.
Olga underwent surgery for a hip replacement Sunday evening, Dan Snowberger said.
Lindsay Radford, spokeswoman for St. Anthony, said on Tuesday that Olga Snowberger was treated at the hospital and released to another health care facility, but she did not know which facility she was transferred to.
Snowberger said he suffered minor injuries from the airbag deployment, and he remains focused on supporting his wife through her recovery.
Snowberger thanked emergency medical technicians and law enforcement officers who responded to the crash scene as well as the staff members of Mercy Regional Medical Center, Flight For Life and St. Anthony Hospital.
He added: “This is a poor ‘Ground Hog Day’ experience after the accident in 2018 near the same location, and I didn’t think 2020 could end any worse than it had already shaped up to pass.”
The crash occurred a little more than two years after the Snowbergers were involved in another multiple-vehicle crash in nearly the same spot in which Olga Snowberger suffered multiple fractures to her pelvis.
Julie Popp, 9-R spokeswoman, said Dan Snowberger has taken emergency leave, and as of Tuesday, it has not been determined when he will return.
Laura Galido, 9-R director of human resources, will lead the district until Snowberger’s return, Popp said.
Colorado State Patrol Capt. Adrian Driscoll confirmed the Snowbergers were in one of the vehicles in the 10-vehicle pileup on Saturday, but he said a trooper’s report about the incident was not ready for release Tuesday.
Olga Snowberger had been employed as a paraprofessional at District 9-R until she suffered injuries in the 2018 crash.
Since the 2018 crash, she has had multiple surgeries to deal with the injuries she suffered and she has been unable to work, Popp said.
“It’s been a long road to recovery for her,” she said.