Trucker fails acid test in Glenwood Canyon |

Trucker fails acid test in Glenwood Canyon

A tandem semi-trailer rig carrying batteries overturned early Wednesday in Glenwood Canyon after the driver apparently over-corrected on a curve.

It was the third truck wreck in the canyon in the past three months.

The smell of diesel filled the air as westbound traffic on Interstate 70 slowed at the entrance to Glenwood Canyon. Motorists gaped at the wreck just east of Bair Ranch Rest Area.

The 5:30 a.m. wreck closed the westbound lanes until 9 a.m., when the Colorado State Patrol re-opened the right lane.

The Conway Transportation Services (CWX) driver was not injured. Authorities and the company would not release the name of the driver Wednesday.

The tandem rig was carrying auto parts and 3,600 pounds of heavy, oversized batteries used in mine operations, Gypsum Fire Chief Dave Vroman said.

Liquid acid shipped with the batteries spilled from the trailer, and about 10 gallons leaked onto the highway, according to Cindy Hassig, a worker with the State Patrol hazardous materials team.

Vroman said workers covered the spilled acid with pot ash to neutralize it and to make cleanup safe.

The trailer itself could not be opened until the battery acid was cleaned up, said Dave Moody, another worker on the CSP haz-mat team.

The trucking company hired R.M. Cat Environmental Services of Denver to clean up the spilled batteries and hazardous acid, said Chip Medina, an R.M. Cat worker.

The wreck happened when the driver apparently over-corrected on a left-hand curve. The second trailer rolled onto its left side, Hassig said. The truck dragged the trailer on its side for about two-tenths of a mile before stopping.

The tractor and first trailer were removed and the driver was taken to the hospital for a routine drug test. Results were not available at press time. The accident remains under investigation.

By noon the R.M. Cat crew opened the trailer and removed the hazardous materials. At 3:50 p.m. the trailer was righted and the westbound lanes were reopened shortly after.

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