Pickup rear-ends dump truck
Driver believed to be talking on cell phone
A pickup truck rammed the back end of a dump truck Thursday morning on Highway 82, sending the pickup’s driver to Valley View Hospital with serious injuries, according to the Colorado State Patrol.
The dump truck driver was treated and released at Valley View Hospital with minor injuries.
At approximately 9 a.m., Jeffrey A. Vasiliauskas, 26, of Glenwood Springs and Bellevue, Neb., was driving eastbound near milepost 15 on Highway 82 in a red Ford Ranger pickup.
Alvaro A. Grajalez, 30, of Parachute, was hauling gravel in a black Kenworth dump truck.
He made a left-hand turn onto Highway 82, merged from the left acceleration lane into the left eastbound lane for 130 feet when the accident occurred.
Witnesses said the dump truck driver signaled prior to leaving the acceleration lane, allowing adequate time for vehicles to merge to the right lane.
The Ford Ranger crashed into the dump truck from behind at 70 mph, and the force of impact pushed the pickup under the rear bed of the dump truck, hitting its rear axle, locking the vehicles together.
The posted speed limit at the scene of the crash is 65 mph.
A witness said the pickup driver never braked prior to striking the dump truck, which was confirmed through vehicle and scene investigations, according to the state patrol report.
Vasiliauskas, who was not wearing a seat belt, is suspected of using his cell phone at the time of the crash.
Colorado State Patrol, Carbondale Police Department, Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, Carbondale EMS/Fire Department, Colorado Department of Transportation, D&D Towing and Western Slope Aggregate assisted at the scene.
The Colorado State Patrol reminds motorists to use their seat belts and avoid distractions while driving. The Colorado State Patrol reminds motorists to use their seat belts and avoid distractions while driving.
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