SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– Drivers traveling north on Highway 9 near I-70 in Silverthorne were delayed on Tuesday morning after a semi rolled over and the driver was hurt. Hazardous materials units were assisting with the cleanup due to the fuel spilled in the rollover.

(credit: CSP Eagle)

Investigators said the driver lost his brakes and didn’t take the emergency ramps before pulling off onto Highway 9. The cleanup was expected to take several hours.

Hazmat worked on draining the tanker which was carrying a “base petroleum product.” Crews were transferring that load into another semi.

“Fortunately what he is carrying is not considered toxic,” explained Summit Fire and EMS Public Information Officer Steve Lipsher. “It is an emulsified oil used for tamping down dust on gravel roads and those types of things.

Police in Silverthorne placed detours around the rollover during the cleanup and investigation. The closure for northbound Highway 9 was indefinite with no estimate on when it will reopen.

This is the same spot where a Coors truck crashed in October 2021. Crews on scene said even with safety improvements planned for the on and off ramps near the exit, nothing will change that this is the first exit after a very long steep hill.

“We are counting our blessings that the last two times, it has only been the truck that is involved in these things. You could totally have fatalities out here,” Lipsher said.

The driver’s injuries were described as non-life threatening.

Drivers had to contend with another closure, U.S. 6 Loveland Pass was closed in both directions from I-70 to Montezuma Road due to avalanche reduction work.

 

Jennifer McRae