Two Different Truck Accidents Spill Asphalt into N. Colorado River
The Cache la Poudre River west of Fort Collins, Colorado has had two separate truck accidents spill asphalt into it. The first accident occurred August 25; the second yesterday, September 3. The drivers were not seriously injured in either accident. The highway was closed for hours yesterday, but the river remains closed to recreation for a four mile stretch, just in time for the Labor Day Weekend.
In yesterday’s spill, 5000 gallons of asphalt and 200 gallons of diesel fuel were dumped into the river. Most of the asphalt was contained around the area where the accident occurred. The August accident caused much of the asphalt to drift downriver.
Cache la Poudre provides drinking water to several communities, including Fort Collins and Greeley, as well as irrigation for farms in the area. Though tests showed no contamination from the first spill, authorities have told fishermen not to eat any fish they catch downstream.
Both drivers were carrying asphalt to a section of Colorado 14 near Cameron Pass. The Colorado Department of Transportation has suspended the contractor on the job until they can provide documentation showing that corrective action has been taken to avoid a reoccurrence of an accident. The contractor on the job was using drivers from another company that transported asphalt from Denver, but the drivers were from different companies hired by the trucking contractor.
Authorities cited the driver of the August accident for careless driving. It is believed yesterday’s accident occurred when the load shifted causing the truck to roll over into the river.
The Cache la Poudre is Colorado’s only nationally designated Wild and Scenic River. The two-lane highway next to it is a Colorado Scenic and Historic Byway.