US 50 Closed for Seven Hours After Blazing Truck Fatality
Last Saturday, U.S. 50 was closed for seven hours due to a fatal truck accident that resulted in a major blaze. The semi-tanker involved in the accident was carrying fuel which seems to have ignited during the crash.
The driver, who was the only occupant of the vehicle at the time of the crash, was identified as Allen Hubbard, a 78 year-old man from Denver who had been in the tanker business for 60 years. The crash occured at about 9:30 am roughly 14 miles east of Salida, Colorado.
Tracey Harmon, a reporter for The Pueblo Chieftan, has some details:
Colorado State Patrol troopers are investigating the accident. Preliminary reports indicate witnesses saw Hubbard heading east on U.S. 50 when he lost control of the semi, hit an embankment and the tanker flipped onto the passenger side, Twellman said. About one minute later, the tanker exploded.
Twellman’s statements also indicated that Hubbard was wearing his seat belt at the time of the accident.
Arkansas Headwaters officials were brought in to monitor the river for any contamination by the tanker’s fuel. According to reports, the semi-tanker did spill fuel, but it was flowing away from the river towards the south side of the highway. The spilled fuel was cleaned up by the hazardous materials team.
NBC 11 News has some video coverage of the story (it starts 20 seconds in).