A semi truck that overturned on I-70 near Glenwood, Colorado has shown the hidden dangers that come with tractor trailer accidents.
The truck was carrying nearly twenty one tons of aluminum shavings in 3800-pound bags when the driver lost control of the vehicle and it turned onto its side. In addition to spilling the aluminum, the truck’s fuel containers were breached in the crash, leading to a spill of nearly 70 gallons of diesel fuel onto the highway. Both aluminum and diesel can pose a hazard to other drivers as well as to the local environment, so the state authorities called in hazardous materials cleanup crews to deal with the spill.
The accident took place around 1:45 am on Friday, August 10. Due to the cleanup and the need to move the wreck from the road, the highway was shut down for multiple hours. It wasn’t until 9:45 am that a single lane was open for traffic to move through — a full eight hours after the initial accident. The highway wasn’t completely open for traffic until 10:30. That means that nine hours of cleanup were required for a hazardous materials accident due to one driver acting irresponsibly.
Officials have cited the driver for reckless driving. They believe a combination of fatigue and speed were the contributing factors in the accident. This indicates the driver was likely not observing proper procedure for maximum number of driving hours as well as breaking the speed limit. Semi trucks are difficult machines to control at the best of times, with poor handling and heavy inertia. When a driver fails to take proper rest breaks they find it even harder to control their rigs. To add speeding on top of that is the height of irresponsibility. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured in the crash, so the citation for reckless driving may be the only punishment the driver faces.