Semi rolls after missing runaway ramp on Vail Pass
Ryan Summerlin October 19, 2012
EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado – A semi truck rolled Friday after it lost its brakes on Interstate 70 coming down Vail Pass but drove up a service road instead of the adjacent runaway truck ramp.
At about 9:45 a.m., the Colorado State Patrol responded the crash at mile post 182. A 2002 Freightliner, owned by The Pearls Trucking Co., was traveling westbound on Interstate 70, descending Vail Pass. The driver, Felix Guevara Dominguez, 49, of Tampa, Fla., stated he was having difficulty keeping the semi at the legal speed limit. Dominguez added he was riding the brakes, which caused them to overheat and lose air pressure, as he was traveling too fast to safely down shift the semi.
Dominguez pulled the truck to the right shoulder, then into the runaway truck ramp. At this point, Dominguez estimated his own speed to be 65-70 mph. When Dominguez approached the ramp, he became uncertain which side to take, police said. One side is the gravel trap to aid in slowing vehicles, the other side is a dirt service road. Dominguez said everything happened so fast and that he became confused, according to the Colorado State Patrol. He drove up the dirt service road, which does not have the ability to aid in slowing vehicles.
The semi then reached the top of the runaway ramp and collided with an earth embankment. The semi and trailer rolled and came to rest in a ravine on its roof. The truck was carrying seven large rolls of paper used to manufacture sheetrock. Dominguez was wearing a seat belt and only suffered a minor leg injury.