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Canyon driving calls for caution

Interstate 70 travels a twisted path through Glenwood Canyon and South Canyon, and winter weather makes the highway all the more dangerous.

Early this month, truck and car wrecks forced the closure of both canyons on successive days.

These types of closures inconvenience hundreds of people who can’t get where they want to go, and the wrecks themselves always put drivers and passengers at risk of injury.



Winter is far from over, and there will be many more days when slush, snow and ice make for dicey driving on I-70 and other local highways.

The canyons carry the extra danger of rockfall ” the chief cause of a truck accident that closed I-70 on Super Bowl Sunday. After a fallen rock broke his truck’s axle, driver Johnnie Martin of Oklahoma used the little steering power he had remaining to head the rig off the road, avoiding other vehicles but rolling the truck onto its side.



Martin did the best he could in a bad situation, and I-70 maintenance supervisor Adam Padilla credits Martin for possibly saving lives with his actions.

The constant message is that rocks can break loose and fall to the roadway anytime, and it’s much more likely to happen during cold, wet weather.

Slick roads and unexpected obstacles are two good reasons for drivers to slow down while navigating the curves of South Canyon and Glenwood Canyon. Is anyone in such a hurry that risking lives and delaying the travel of hundreds of people makes sense?

Some accidents can’t be avoided, but cautious driving and a healthy respect for the hazardous conditions that Colorado’s winter weather can dish out will go a long way in averting many wrecks.


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