Driver of dump truck that rolled on El Jebel hill cited by CSP
The driver of a dump truck that rolled Friday while hauling a load of rocks down an El Jebel hill was cited by the Colorado State Patrol for careless driving.
Russell Fritz, 62, of Basalt, was hauling eight tons of large rocks downhill on Upper Cattle Creek Road when he lost control of his rig, according to a report by a state trooper who investigated the accident.
“For about one-half mile, he was out of control,” said Sgt. Rob Madden, a public information officer with the state patrol. At about mile marker 1 on the road, Fritz ran off the left side of the road and up an embankment, the report said. He corrected and the vehicle went up on its driver’s side wheels before rolling one-quarter turn onto the driver’s side.
The dump truck slid 62 feet into a guardrail then rolled one time back onto the driver’s side, the report said. Madden said it is unusual for a commercial vehicle of that size and weight to roll one complete turn.
The accident occurred at about 2:40 p.m. Upper Cattle Creek Road, which blends into El Jebel Road, was closed for nearly five hours because the dump truck came to rest in the middle of the lanes. Large rocks were also strewn along the road. Fritz was ejected from the vehicle. He was taken to the hospital for precautionary reasons, the report said. A dog in the cab wasn’t injured, but emergency responders said it was covered in oil.
The vehicle was a 1984 dump truck owned by a private excavating firm in Carbondale.
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The Vail Town Council has repealed the requirement to wear facial coverings outdoors in the town’s resort villages. The original outdoor mandate was passed in November as an effort to maintain a semblance of a full ski season.