Dump truck takes nasty spill on El Jebel Hill
A dump-truck driver was ejected from his rig and injured Friday when he apparently encountered a problem and rolled the vehicle on the steepest section of El Jebel hill.
The dump truck rolled at about 2:45 p.m. while heading down El Jebel Road. Skid marks at the scene showed the driver battled to maintain control of the tandem axle, older-model dump truck for at least a quarter of a mile on the winding road before he rolled. He managed to keep the rig in the roadway and avoid a steep embankment to his right.
The accident was about 1 mile up the road from Highway 82.
No other vehicles were involved in the crash. G.R. Fielding was driving uphill to his home when he saw a scene unfold that he said was best described as “violent.”
“At first, I thought he had come down the embankment,” Fielding said.
It was difficult to assess what was happening because of the plume of dust rolling toward him, he said.
“How often do you have a tandem axle dump truck sliding at you?” he said.
As the dust finally settled, he saw something moving outside the cab. He and other motorists that approached from behind the dump truck called emergency dispatchers and attended to the driver. Fielding said the man was conscious and able to talk.
Basalt Fire Chief Scott Thompson said from the scene that another witness saw the truck teetering on its wheels on one side before it rolled.
The aftermath was chaotic. The truck cab was smashed. The bed was ripped off the frame. Liquids leaked onto El Jebel Road and were caught by a makeshift dam. Cement blocks were strewn all over the road and shoulders. It appeared they might have been from a demolished foundation. The road surface had deep gouges above the accident.
Thompson said the driver was taken to a hospital with numerous injuries that didn’t appear to be life threatening. The driver’s name wasn’t released. A Colorado State Patrol trooper was investigating the accident. Authorities at the scene said a working theory was that the truck experienced a brake problem.
A dog was traveling in the cab and got covered in oil during the accident. The dog was waiting in a rescue truck until Eagle County Animal Control arrived.
El Jebel Road was closed after the accident and during the cleanup. Traffic was redirected to Catherine Road, also known as Country Road 100.
El Jebel Road is popular with road cyclists because of the challenging climb and fast descent. Bikers should be aware that the road has several large gouges. Even after the large rocks are cleared off, there is still likely to be small rock and sand on the road.
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