GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. (KKCO) -- One person is dead and four injured in a crash in Glenwood Canyon.
Photo courtesy of viewer Jonathan Goodman
Colorado State Patrol says it happened just after 4:30 Wednesday morning in the westbound lanes near milemarker 127, just east of the Hanging Lake tunnel, which is under construction. In that construction zone, the east and west traffic is combined into the two westbound lanes and the speed limit is 40 miles per hour.
Trooper Graham Thorne says as a tractor trailer carrying beer was passing west out of the tunnel, a 2012 Mazda heading east collided head on with it.
The semi's fuel tank was ruptured in the crash, and both vehicles became engulfed in fire.
The Mazda came to a stop in the westbound lane, facing east, while the trailer continued westbound and crashed into the cement highway barrier on the south side of the interstate.
One saddle tank flew off the semi, and the other was punctured, spilling about 100 gallons of diesel on to the road.
Courageous bystanders helped to pull three of the four Mazda occupants out of the flaming car. The driver of the car was pronounced dead on scene, and the other three were taken to Vail Medical Center.
The semi truck driver was not injured as he climbed from the burning truck.
CSP's Hazmat crews were called in to clean up the mess. CDOT is sending out a team to inspect the bridge where the crash occurred to make sure it's safe.
The interstate was closed in both directions for nearly eight hours; I-70 was reopened at 1:27 p.m. The exact cause of the crash is still under investigation.
Glenwood Springs Fire, Gypsum Fire, Eagle Valley Rescue, CDOT, and the Colorado State Patrol Hazardous Material Unit all responded to the scene.