• February 03, 2022

One Killed, One Injured in Crash with Disabled Semi-Truck on I-70 in Idaho Springs, CO

Idaho Springs, CO -- February 2, 2022, one person was killed and another was injured when a Jeep collided with a disabled semi-truck on Interstate 70 in Idaho Springs.

Authorities say the incident happened around 5:30 p.m. on eastbound I-70 near exit 241. Preliminary investigation suggests a commercial semi-truck was broken down on the shoulder of the road when a Jeep Compass Trailhawk approached from the west and, for unknown reasons, crashed into it.

The Jeep's passenger, a 33-year-old woman, was pronounced dead at the scene. Its driver was transported to an area hospital for treatment of unspecified injuries. The truck driver, in the cab at the time of the collision, was unhurt.

Police continue to investigate but say no signs of impairment were found. No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Semi-Truck Accident on I-70 in Idaho Springs

When a vehicle has a disabling problem the driver often has few options except to pull off the road as quickly as possible or risk breaking down in the travel lanes, which can often be much riskier. That said, there still needs to be an investigation into what disabled this truck and whether or not the driver took proper precautions afterward. I'm not ignoring that the victims somehow collided with the truck; I think most people understand that when someone crashes into a parked big rig, investigators will look into why. My goal is more to look closer at some complex factors surrounding these crashes few people ever consider.

One Killed, One Injured in Crash with Disabled Semi-Truck on I-70 in Idaho Springs, CO

Here's an example of what I mean: Not long ago I had a case involving a disabled 18-wheeler blocking traffic lanes. Despite being stopped there for some time, the truck driver made no effort to put out reflective cones or flares, which is required by federal law. On top of that, we learned the truck's disabling issues were the result of months and months of neglected maintenance, not just some spontaneous breakdown on the road. To make matters worse, the truck driver didn't really even have to stop for that particular issue; he could have kept driving until he found somewhere safe to pull over, but he panicked and stopped in a travel lane instead. All those issues combined painted a clear picture of professional negligence and we were able to hold the driver's company accountable after our clients collided with the 40-ton obstruction in the road.

Obviously the situation in Colorado isn't identical to that, but it still seems to me that various elements of the crash that aren't quite so obvious need to be clarified. It must still be established why the victims hit the truck, but it's just as important to learn everything possible about how and why the truck ended up there in the first place. If nothing else, families grieving the loss of a loved one deserve to know they're getting the full story. That will likely mean having independent accident reconstructionists look into the details as soon as possible to ensure all factors get the attention they deserve.


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