Interstate 70 brought to a standstill by dual accidents
July 17, 2012
GLENWOOD SPRINGS – A pair of back-to-back truck accidents – the first at West Glenwood and the second at the No Name Tunnel – snarled westbound traffic on Interstate 70 from 2 p.m. Monday until about 8 p.m.
The first accident occurred at about 2 p.m. near the West Glenwood interchange on I-70. Witnesses reported that an eastbound semi truck crossed the median and rolled onto its left side in the westbound lanes of the highway.
One westbound passenger car skidded into the truck, which blocked both westbound lanes.
The accident immediately brought westbound traffic on the highway to a stop, backing traffic up farther and farther to the east.
At about 2:30 p.m., a semi truck crashed into another semi in a line of backed-up standstill traffic in the No Name Tunnel in Glenwood Canyon.
A 2007 Freightliner, CR England Inc./Walmart truck and trailer driven by Jimmy D. Maddox, 70, of Cheyenne, Wyo.; a 2007 Freightliner, Ryder Truck Rental/MBM truck and trailer driven by Timothy J. Sleyzak, 49, of Bailey; and a Kenworth, Systems Transport Inc. truck and trailer were all stopped in the right lane for the road closure.
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A 2008 Volvo, Carter Express Inc. truck and trailer driven by Ronald G. Crossno, 59, of Paragould, Ark., then entered the tunnel and drove into the rear of the stopped semi trucks, causing a chain reaction of all four semi trucks, which blocked both lanes of westbound I-70 inside the tunnel.
Crossno was transported to the hospital with minor injuries and was later issued a citation for careless driving. No other injuries were reported.
Two of the semi trucks had extensive damage and lost a majority of their engine fluids onto the roadway. Due to the hazmat spillage, both semi trucks had to be towed from the scene by Blain Ward Towing. The other two semi trucks were able to drive away from the scene.
Because of the extensive damage and the hazmat spillage, westbound I-70 was again shut down for approximately six hours until the accident scene was cleaned up and the tunnel was safe to drive through.
First responders included the Colorado State Patrol, CDOT, Glenwood Springs Fire, Colorado State Patrol Hazmat and Ecos clean up company.
Westbound traffic was diverted from I-70 at Eagle, Gypsum and Dotsero.
Authorities reopened one lane of westbound I-70 from Glenwood Springs to the west by 4 p.m., and reopened one lane westbound from No Name by 8 p.m. Monday evening.