Colorado police investigating cause of semi crash that left driver with ‘significant burns’

October 17, 2022

Ryan Witkowski


A fiery crash involving a semitruck along a troublesome stretch of Interstate 70 in Colorado is still under investigation.

The incident occurred Oct. 12 about 2 miles east of the main Glenwood Springs exit – near the No Name Tunnels. According to Colorado State Patrol, just before 6 a.m. a semitruck veered into the median and became hung up on the concrete barriers. The vehicle’s cab caught fire, temporarily trapping the driver before he could escape the blaze.

Colorado State Patrol said the driver of the vehicle – a 22-year-old male from Pennsylvania – was initially taken to nearby Valley View Hospital, but was later air-lifted to Front Range hospital due to the extent of the injuries. According to officials, the driver suffered “significant burns.”

No other vehicles were involved in the crash, and the driver was the lone occupant of the semitruck.

According to KDVR news, the driver was assisted by two motorists who observed him trying to escape the crash. The pair helped the driver get away from the burning vehicle and sat him in the back of their work truck until emergency responders arrived on the scene.

One of those good Samaritans was Irving Pimentel. He said if not for the actions of him and his co-worker, the situation could have had a different ending.

“I feel like it would have been different if me and my buddy didn’t pull over, because it didn’t seem like anyone else was trying to stop to see if everyone was OK,” Pimentel told KDVR news.

The crash resulted in the closure of I-70 in both directions through Glenwood Canyon for about two hours. After reopening, traffic was limited to one lane as crews worked to clear the scene. Hazmat crews were needed to tend to a fuel spill as cleanup continued into Thursday.

As of Oct. 17, Colorado State Patrol said it is still working to determine what led up to the crash. Sgt. Troy Kessler, public information officer with CSP, told Land Line that preliminary reports show driver fatigue as a contributing factor in the crash. The Colorado State Patrol did not provide any specifics as to why they suspected driver fatigue.

No update has been given as to the condition of the driver. LL