UPDATE: Eastbound I-70 closed at Eisenhower Tunnels after fatal semi crash, lengthy road shutdown expected
Update, 3:30 p.m.: Westbound I-70 has reopened, possible two hours before one lane eastbound is open.
WB I-70 has reopened. We are looking at possibly 2 hours before we have one lane of EB open. Alternate routes remain in place for EB. CO 9 south to US 285 or CO 9 north to US 40.
— CDOT (@ColoradoDOT) December 12, 2017
A semi truck traveling on westbound Interstate 70 near Empire Junction crossed over into the east lane and crashed into a bridge pillar, killing the driver and seriously injuring another passenger, according to the Colorado State Patrol.
The incident occurred at around 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday but officials expect an extended closure of I-70 in both directions to clean up the scene and allow engineers with the Colorado Department of Transportation to check on the structural integrity of the bridge.
A safety closure of eastbound I-70 is currently in place at exit 205 in Silverthorne, and traffic is being diverted to Colorado Highway 9 through Park County. Colorado Highway 6 remained closed at Loveland Pass in the early afternoon.
As of 12:45, officials could offer no estimated time of re-opening given the extensive cleanup work and bridge evaluation needed before letting cars pass beneath it again.
“It is not a good looking picture there,” a CSP spokesman said.
The cause of the crash is still under investigation. No other vehicles were involved, the spokesman said, but the passenger in the truck sustained serious injuries and was rushed to a hospital on the Front Range.
A vehicular crimes unit was en route as of 1 p.m., which is standard procedure for fatal crashes but will contribute to the extended closure.
The crash occurred near mile marker 232 at the exit for Colorado Highway 40, and the semi wrapped around on of the pillars holding up the interchange bridge there.
“Until they can get in there and clear the scene and our people can go in and evaluate the damage to the structure, we can’t safely let people through there,” a CDOT spokeswoman said.
The agency is planning a press briefing at 3 p.m. to provide more information and updates.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
Outstanding Teacher Awards organized by Summit54 recognize elementary educators throughout Roaring Fork Valley
The Glenwood Springs Post Independent and The Aspen Times are partnering with Summit54, an education nonprofit in Aspen, to help acknowledge the hard work of educators who have gone above and beyond during COVID-19 in…