Crash, spill snarls traffic on Hwy. 82
Aspen, CO Colorado
CARBONDALE ” Some Roaring Fork Valley residents likely got stuck at the scene of a messy Highway 82 crash near Carbondale at least twice on Tuesday ” first during the morning commute and a second time in the afternoon, while cleanup at the site continued.
A collision involving a semitruck and a construction crane shortly before 7:30 a.m. closed both lanes of westbound, or downvalley, Highway 82 at a time when most of the traffic is headed east, or upvalley. Westbound traffic was diverted onto a dirt frontage road.
Crews still were cleaning up the mess Tuesday afternoon, though, when most of the traffic was heading west, or downvalley.
The Colorado Department of Transportation was advising motorists to seek an alternate route around the cleanup scene at midafternoon, when the left lanes in both directions of the highway were closed and crews were intermittently closing both westbound lanes to move equipment and haul debris. Both westbound lanes were opened at approximately 5:30 p.m., according to CDOT.
With heavy traffic moving downvalley, “extensive delays” were possible for commuters, the agency warned.
The mess on the highway resulted when the two vehicles collided in the eastbound, or upvalley lanes, of Highway 82 just east of the Aspen Glen subdivision.
According to the Colorado State Patrol, a semi driven by Mark Phipps, 47, of Fieldale, Va., was traveling east 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 patrol said.
The impact split open the semi’s trailer, spilling its contents ” liquid wood stain and other debris ” onto the westbound lanes. The semi came to rest blocking both downvalley, or westbound, lanes of the highway; the crane came to rest in the median, according to the state patrol.
Lovell was taken to Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs with serious injuries, but was listed in stable condition, according to the patrol. Phipps suffered minor injuries, the patrol said, and also was taken to Valley View.
Phipps was cited for careless driving causing bodily injury.
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Pitkin County commissioners on Tuesday expressed support for imposing a tax on cigarettes and tobacco products in the county similar one enacted by the city of Aspen two years ago.