RFTA bus struck by boulder Monday night along Highway 82 | PostIndependent.com
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RFTA bus struck by boulder Monday night along Highway 82

No injuries and no passengers onboard when incident occurred

Damage can be seen on a RFTA bus after it was struck by a boulder along Highway 82 on Monday night. Courtesy photo

A boulder struck a RFTA bus traveling along Highway 82 Monday night from Glenwood Springs to Carbondale.

The event occurred around 8:20 p.m. Monday following a rainstorm. RFTA CEO Dan Blankenship said no passengers were onboard during the incident and the driver was also OK.

“We are very thankful,” Blankenship said. “It could have been a very, very tragic accident.”

According to Blankenship, the boulder was moving fast enough to make its way across Highway 82’s northbound lanes before striking the bus, which was traveling south.

“The bus was heading to Carbondale to serve as a backup for other buses that were reaching the 9-passenger social distancing limit, which is why it didn’t have any passengers at the time,” Blankenship said.

The bus was about a half a mile away from CMC’s Spring Valley Campus turn off near the Thunder River Market when it was hit.

The boulder hit the side of the bus not far from the driver compartment, Blankenship said.

“The bus can be repaired but when people get hurt that raises it to a whole other level of seriousness,” Blankenship said.

Blankenship did not have an exact estimate for how much the damage would cost but said it could easily surpass $25,000.

“The bus will need to be sent out of the area to have extensive bodywork performed since it damaged the structure,” Blankenship said.

Blankenship estimated the boulder to be about 2 1/2 to 3 feet tall and the same distance wide.

“We’re just thankful that our bus operator wasn’t injured,” he said.

Colorado State Patrol Master Trooper Gary Cutler said a pickup truck was also involved in the incident. Cutler said the pickup truck driver was not hurt.

mabennett@postindependent.com


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