Fuel tanker rolls on Loveland Pass, spilling about 500 gallons | PostIndependent.com

Fuel tanker rolls on Loveland Pass, spilling about 500 gallons

Robert Allen
Summit County Correspondent
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Summit Daily/Robert Allen

LOVELAND PASS, Colorado – A tanker carrying 7,000 gallons of petroleum rolled over a westbound Highway 6 embankment above Arapahoe Basin Ski Area on Friday morning, spilling about 500 gallons.

Bernell Begay, 28, was flown to St. Anthony Central Hospital in Denver with serious injuries after the tanker overturned and the cab “crunched over the guardrail,” said Steve Skulski, assistant chief and fire marshal with Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue.

Begay was later released, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

The leak from the tanker was contained without any fuel igniting. Hazardous materials crews with Colorado State Patrol used booms and pads to contain and remove the gas that drained below the embankment before it reached the Snake River’s north fork.

The wreck occurred at about 10:30 a.m. and left the tanker – from Gilco Transportation, Inc. of Rifle – hanging as far as 10 feet beyond the barrier.

A-Basin general manager and COO Alan Henceroth said he could hear a “very loud” sound of “screeching metal” as the tanker slid toward the guardrail.

“I thought it was going all the way over,” he said, adding that he could see the wreck occur from outside the ski area’s guest services building.

The ski area remained open despite road closures Friday and is to continue normal operation through the weekend, he said.

Gilco Transportation owner Keith Gilstrap said the tanker was traveling from the Front Range to the Western Slope. He declined to release more information about the incident.

A tow truck used winch lines to secure the tanker from rolling the down the steep embankment, and an empty tanker was taken to the scene to pump fuel from the wrecked tanker’s five compartments.

LDFR dispatched two engines and a total of about 11 people. Summit County Ambulance dispatched two ambulances, and Colorado State Patrol as well as Summit County Sheriff’s Office assisted with the scene.

The rollover occurred at a hairpin turn above the ski area, not far from where a similar fuel tanker exploded last August.

Also Friday, eastbound Interstate 70 through the Eisenhower Tunnel was closed for about a half hour as crews dealt with a bus fire, according to LDFR.


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