One Killed, One Injured in Truck Rollover Crash on Hwy 285 in Bailey, CO
Bailey, CO — August 29, 2022, one person died and another was injured in a tractor-trailer overturn accident along Highway 285 in Bailey.
Authorities say the incident happened around 7:30 p.m. along Highway 285 near mile marker 222. Preliminary investigation suggests a big rig was traveling along the highway when it entered a turn at the bottom of a steep grade--an area locals say is particularly dangerous for 18-wheelers. The truck reportedly overturned and its cargo of a large piece of earth moving equipment fell off, then rolled into the nearby North Fork South Platte River.
The truck's 37-year-old passenger died in the crash. Its 38-year-old driver was airlifted in serious condition to a Lakewood hospital.
The investigation is ongoing. No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Truck Accident on Highway 285 in Bailey
News reports about this accident seem to focus largely on the dangerous stretch of road where it happened. According to those reports almost two miles of "dangerously steep" graded roadway abruptly ends in a 120-degree turn, which residents in the area feel is far too sharp for a truck that may already have burned its brakes out negotiating the steep road. Unless the big rig in question crept through the whole thing in low gear, it sounds like the road's layout is a recipe for occasional disaster.
In addition to that, there may also be questions of whether the rollover had to be as devastating as it turned out to be. People aren't always aware that the trucking industry is slow to adopt design and safety improvements to its models, and in many cases the thin fiberglass shell of a truck's cab ends up crumpling under the frame's weight during a turnover. There are ways to protect the people inside the cab from serious injury when that happens, but sadly not every truck manufacturer is willing to make the necessary upgrades.
All I'm really saying is it's important to investigate these matters carefully. People that just heard a truck flipped in a curve might be inclined to blame the driver, but it sounds like matters may have been out of his hands. It's unjust to point fingers before the facts--derived through close attention to detail--can tell the story.