Semi Crash Backs Traffic Up For 16 Miles On Westbound I-70

DE BEQUE CANYON, Colo. – A semi truck was attempting to pass another semi when it jack-knifed and slid into the embankment, barely missing from being swept away in the cold waters of the Colorado River. “De Beque Fire and GJFD respond to a semi rollover off of I-70”, says Ellis Thompson-Ellis the Public Information Officer for the Grand Junction Fire Department. Much of the semi is submerged in the river, and when help arrived on scene the water was about knee high to the driver. “We were able to extricate a patient and take them to the hospital”, says Thompson-Ellis. Multiple guardrail beams were ripped straight out of the ground due to the force of the semi truck’s impact and the team spent the morning offloading the contents into another semi so the wrecked semi can be lifted out of the river. “At about 9 o’clock this morning the GJFD was called back to the scene to respond to a possible hazardous materials release”, says Thompson-Ellis. Officials tell us that Palisade, Grand Junction, Clifton and Ute Water services have been notified of the gas and oil leaking from the wrecked semi-truck. “Our HazMat team is considering a possible fuel leak. There were 75 gallons of fuel onboard but we’re not sure how much of that has spilled or where we’re evaluating the situation right now”, says Thompson-Ellis. We’ve not received an update on the condition of the driver, Michael Vega, besides that he was transported with serious bodily injuries. CSP says he has been cited for careless driving.

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