Crash cleanup snarling Hwy. 82 traffic
Aspen, CO Colorado
CARBONDALE ” Cleanup from an accident Tuesday morning on Highway 82 near Carbondale is continuing to slow traffic as the downvalley, afternoon commute picks up.
The Colorado Department of Transportation is advising motorists to seek an alternate route (see below), as the left lanes in both direction of the highway are closed to traffic and crews are intermittently closing both westbound lanes to move equipment and haul debris.
Traffic is heavy and “extensive delays” are possible, according to CDOT.
The agency is unsure when the cleanup will be finished.
The mess on the highway resulted when a semi-truck and a construction crane collided in the eastbound, or upvalley lanes, of Highway 82 just east of the Aspen Glen subdivision shortly before 7:30 a.m., snarling traffic.
According to the Colorado State Patrol, a semi driven by Mark Phipps, 47, of Fieldale, Va., was eastbound when he attempted a U-turn from the paved shoulder to head west after missing his turn. The semi pulled in front of a construction crane, also traveling east, driven by Ronald Lovell, 46, of Parachute, Colo., the state patrol said.
The impact split open the back of the semi trailer, spilling its contents ” liquid wood stain and other debris, onto the westbound lanes. The westbound lanes were closed and traffic was diverted onto a dirt frontage road, the patrol said.
The semi came to rest blocking both downvalley lanes of the highway; the crane came to rest in the median, according to the patrol.
Lovell was taken to Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs with serious injuries; he was listed in stable condition, according to the patrol. Phipps suffered minor injuries, the patrol said, and was also taken to Valley View.
Phipps has been cited for careless driving causing bodily injury.
Downvalley motorists can circumvent the accident scene in one of two ways:
Turn left off Highway 82 at Highway 133, heading into Carbondale, then right at the 7-Eleven. The road becomes County Road 106, or Thompson Creek Road. After crossing the Crystal River, take a right on County Road 109 and follow it to Highway 82 below the accident site.
Turn right off Highway 82 at Crystal Springs Road (County Road 103) just before the gravel pit, turn left on County Road 112 and left again on County Road 113 (Cattle Creek Road), which leads back to the highway below the accident site.
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