Moving semi hits parked semi in East Vail, causing I-70 to be shut down for more than 5 hours
Debris, including bottles of wine, was spilled across the roadway, requiring intensive cleanup
A tractor-trailer parked along Interstate 70 in Vail was hit by another tractor-trailer on Friday, spilling debris from both vehicles onto the roadway and closing the westbound lanes for more than five hours.
Both drivers and a passenger were transported to the hospital by Eagle County Paramedic Services and treated for minor injuries, said Kris Widlak, a spokesperson with the town of Vail.
“The first one, that was parked, got spun around, and the second one ended up jack-knifing,” Widlak said. “And they just got tangled up.”
The driver of the at fault vehicle, 49-year-old Clinton Brownlee of Grand Junction, was charged with careless driving causing injury.
Support Local Journalism
The incident occurred at 6:57 a.m. on mile marker 178 in East Vail, and by 7 a.m. Colorado State Patrol was notified and began closing the highway at a detour point at mile marker 195, where Highway 91 meets Interstate 70 near Copper Mountain.
Traffic was detoured over Freemont Pass on Highway 91 and Battle Mountain Pass on Highway 24, reconnecting with Interstate 70 at mile marker 171. Traffic near the location of the crash was diverted onto the South Frontage Road in Vail.
Debris was spilled across the roadway, requiring intensive cleanup. One of the tractor-trailers was carrying wine, but there was nothing hazardous on board either vehicle. There was a minor diesel spill from a ruptured fuel tank, which Vail Fire was able to clean up without the involvement of a hazardous materials team.
Vail Police, Vail Fire, the Colorado State Patrol, Eagle County Paramedic Services, the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office and the Colorado Department of Transportation responded. The highway was reopened at 12:23 p.m.
Widlak said the road was icy at the time, but the cause of the crash is still under investigation.
Celebration of life for Eagle County man who died in rafting accident set for Friday
The Betty Ford Alpine Gardens described Nick Courtens as a rising star in North American horticulture, and Ski and Snowboard Club Vail said he was a…