WOLCOTT - A hazardous materials response team spent Thursday morning at the site of an accident on westbound Interstate 70 near Wolcott where multiple semi-trucks were involved in a crash.
The Eagle River Fire Protection District, Colorado State Patrol and Eagle County Paramedic Services responded to the accident at mile marker 158 around 9:45 a.m., according to the fire district. The accident caused the closure of westbound I-70 at Edwards exit 163, with traffic diverted onto Highway 6, until about 1:45 p.m.
The Colorado State Patrol reported multiple crashes as the cause of the road closure, including passenger vehicles that crashed behind the scene while troopers investigated the semi-truck crash. The Colorado State Patrol reported six semi-trucks involved in the crash, while Eagle River Fire reported seven semi-trucks. No injuries were reported.
One of the semi-trucks, a tanker, was carrying hot oil asphalt. The tanker was not ruptured in the crash but because of "significant damage to the tanker," removing the tanker from the scene was tricky.
"Because the tanker had jack-knifed, the outer shell of the tank itself was compromised," said Eagle River Fire Lt. Ryan Vanderlinden, who was on scene. "Our big concern was by moving that tanker right away ... we could potentially rupture the inner liner."
The fire district reported that the Regional Hazardous Materials Association of Eagle County, which is composed of the Eagle County Sheriff's Office, Gypsum Fire Protection District, Greater Eagle Fire Protection District, Eagle River Fire and the town of Vail Fire Department, was on the scene in the morning trying to determine the best way to remove the contents of the tanker before removing the tanker itself.
"Initially, there was an indication we may have a flammability hazard, but further investigation ruled that out so that's why we chose to offload it," Vanderlinden said.
A tow truck from Summit County removed the truck from the interstate successfully without any of the tanker's contents spilling.
The weather was sunny and clear, but the road remained icy at the time of the crashes, according to the Colorado State Patrol.
Assistant Managing Editor Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or firstname.lastname@example.org.