The Grand Junction Police Department is investigating a fatal crash that occurred early this morning at the westbound I-70 off-ramp at Highway 6 & 50.

According to a news release from the Grand Junction Police, the crash happened at approximately 3:00 a.m., when a driver in his seventies exited westbound I-70, went off the side of the off-ramp, and hit a large backhoe that was parked off the roadway. His female passenger, a woman in her eighties, had to be extricated from the car, and was taken to the hospital where she died.

The driver was also taken to the hospital. According to Grand Junction Police, the extent of the driver’s injuries is unknown at this time. The man and the woman are both from California, and were passing through our area.

The off ramp was closed for approximately five hours this morning while officers processed the scene. Grand Junction Police say the area is now open to traffic.