Wreck spills fuel, clogs Highway 82
November 26, 2007
OLD SNOWMASS ” An accident spilled a small amount of diesel fuel on Highway 82 Monday morning and closed an upvalley lane for about 2 1/2 hours, authorities said.
A fuel tanker from the Roaring Fork Valley Co-Op was T-boned at about 11 a.m. when it attempted a left turn from downvalley-bound Highway 82 onto Snowmass Creek Road, according to Colorado State Patrol Trooper Chad Hayes.
The fuel tanker was struck on the passenger side by a pick-up headed eastbound on the highway. The vehicles came to rest against the concrete barrier on Highway 82 in front of the Old Snowmass Conoco.
Hayes said the collision cracked the delivery vehicle’s fuel tank. About 10 gallons leaked onto the ground at the intersection, according to Basalt Fire Chief Scott Thompson. A crew from the Basalt fire department slowed the leak and contained the spilled diesel fuel, he said.
Fortunately, the delivery vehicle had the capability of sucking fuel from its own tank into its delivery vessel, Thompson said. That avoided further spilling. He said he was concerned about the spillage because the intersection has drainage that leads to the Roaring Fork River. Thompson said a “minimal amount” of fuel, if any, reached the water.
One eastbound lane of traffic was closed until about 1:30 p.m. when a tow truck could remove the fuel tanker.
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Hayes said there was conflicting information on the circumstances of the accident. The driver of the pick-up, Benjamin Pachello, said he had a green light. The driver of the fuel delivery vehicle said he had a green arrow for a protected left turn. Hayes said there was a passenger in the fuel tanker that confirmed the driver’s story.
Based on his investigation, Hayes issued a citation to Pachello, 32, of the Denver area, for failing to stop at a traffic control device.
The driver of the fuel tanker, a 71-year-old man, was taken to Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs as a precaution and later released, Hayes said.