LIMON, Colo. (CBS4)– Westbound lanes of Interstate 70 were closed 17 miles west of Limon for several hours after a chain reaction accident that included one semi that burst into flames.
Westbound lanes of I-70 reopened at about 4:30 p.m. Friday.
The crash and fire shut down westbound lanes of I-70 three miles west of Agate at about 8:30 a.m. Friday.
“There was about three semis in front of us, the guy directly in front of us started to jack-knife so we just tried to get out of the way,” said Molly Medow, a passenger in a car caught up in the crash.
There were several semi trucks involved.
Colorado State Troopers said it all started with a minor accident in the middle of the interstate and quickly escalated because of icy roads.
“It compiled and became an accordion affect,” said Colorado State Trooper Josiah Ll.
“The road was just a sheet of ice and once he got going there wasn’t time for us to stop,” said Medow. “My SUV went under the tail end and the blue semi hit next to us and that’s what pushed us down the hill.”
One person was hurt in the crash and taken to a local hospital.
“It is amazing with the crash and the volume and the size of this magnitude that there aren’t worse injuries,” said Ll.
State Troopers said one truck may have been carrying explosives but after an investigation realized the truck was not carrying explosives but a glue-like substance.
There were two detours for westbound traffic to get around the chain reaction crash including From Limon, State Highway 71 north to Last Chance, U.S. 36 west to Byers
and back to I-70 or I-70 west to State Highway 86 (Exit 352 – eight miles west of Limon), Highway 86 west to Franktown and State Highway 83 (Parker Road) or continue
west on Highway 86 to Castle Rock and I-25 north to the Denver area.
Eastbound lanes of I-70 remain open.
What caused the crash is being investigated. Troopers believe it may have been weather-related with slick and icy conditions on the pavement.
It is not known whether any of the drivers were traveling too fast for the conditions.