BAILEY, Colo. (CBS4) – A semi crashed into a winery in Bailey and destroyed the building.
The semi lost control and crashed into Aspen Peak Cellars just after midnight on Tuesday.
The 1998 Freightliner was southbound on Highway 285 when state troopers say the driver failed to negotiate a right turn at the bottom of a seven percent grade hill.
The semi crossed the northbound lanes, went off the left side of the road and crashed into the building. The semi was hauling bottled water.
The driver, Charles Constant, 34, from Boynton Beach, Florida was rushed to St. Anthony Hospital with serious injuries.
Aspen Peak Cellars posted this message on their Facebook page: “Sorry to inform our winery is a total loss. Semi hit it last night. Driver in hospital but alive. Nobody was in the building. Thank God!”
The business was more than just a winery — it was a gathering place for the entire community.
Crow Hill is notorious for big rigs losing control and crashing.
“We’ve had an oil tanker years ago that rolled right here. We’ve had Coors truck that went into the river right here,” Park County Sheriff Fred Wegener said. “We had a truck hauling cardboard for recycling hit the old fire house which used to be right here.”
“In seconds, something like that can just destroy it all,” Aspen Peak Cellars owner Marcel Flukiger said. “I came around the corner and realized right away there’s nothing there.”
Wine leaking from ruptured tanks flooded the nearby creek and crews worked through the night to stop the flow.
“We’re counting our blessings that nobody was in there and the driver is okay,” Flukiger said.
A newly-built outdoor music venue with a stage that was built with community funds was also destroyed in the crash.
Flukiger says the highway needs to be addressed so more crashes don’t occur.
“With no additional safety features on this highway I think we’re going to be for a lot of trouble,” he said.
Constant has been cited with careless driving.