Two hospitalized in crash near Dotsero |

Two hospitalized in crash near Dotsero

Photo courtesy of Cheri Murray

DOTSERO, Colorado ” A semi driver who was speeding west on Interstate 70 rolled Monday afternoon, spilling large steel pipes on the road and leading authorities to close both directions of the interstate for more than two hours, authorities said.

The semi dumped eight steel pipes, 24 inches in diameter, on the east and west lanes and in the median east of Glenwood Canyon shortly after 3 p.m., authorities said.

A driver in a minivan swerved to avoid the pipes, but he was hit by another semi, which was not towing a trailer, Sgt. Shawn Olmstead of the Colorado State Patrol said.

The minivan driver was hospitalized with severe injuries, Olmstead said. The driver of the semi who hit him was hospitalized, possibly to treat a medical condition unrelated to the crash, Olmstead said. The driver of the semi carrying the pipes was not injured, Olmstead said.

The driver of the semi that caused the crash said he was going 62 miles per hour, Olmstead said. However, he was more likely going about 70 miles per hour in a 50-mile-per-hour zone based on the State Patrol’s investigation, Olmstead said. The driver of the speeding semi, which was riding only on its left tires for 300 feet before it rolled, was ticketed for careless driving causing serious bodily injury, Olmstead said.

The names of all the drivers were not released.

Some of the pipes hit a guard rail, causing sparks that started a wildfire in the median and on the shoulder of the east lanes, Olmstead said.

Firefighters from the Gypsum Fire District extinguished the half-acre fire, Chief Dave Vroman said.

The grass along the interstate is extremely dry, he said.

“It doesn’t take much” to start a fire, he said.

Staff Writer Steve Lynn can be reached at 970-748-2931 or

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