Snow cushions car's 120-foot fall off Colo. road

Fire officials say eight feet of snow likely saved the lives of passengers in a sedan that went over a guardrail and plunged down Vail Pass in Colorado Tuesday, February 11, 2014.
Vail Fire Department via Facebook

VAIL, Colo. - All the new snow in Colorado's mountains that has raised the avalanche danger likely helped save the lives of two people whose car plunged down Vail Pass.

Their Honda sedan hit a tanker truck and lost control on Interstate 70 Tuesday, going off the right edge of the road and over the guardrail.

Vail Fire Department via Facebook

It fell 120 feet and landed upright on 8 feet of snow.

The passengers were seriously injured but remained conscious and able to communicate with emergency workers during the complicated rescue.

Fire Chief Mark Miller told the Vail Daily that the snow acted as a cushion, likely preventing even more serious injury or death.

The rescue took about two hours. Two firefighters rappelled down to the car and crews used ropes to rescue the passengers.