Dump truck ends up in ditch


— A 47-year-old Steamboat Springs man was not hurt after a dump truck carrying a load of gravel rolled over Thursday morning.

Jeffrey Lee Clem was traveling northbound on Routt County Road 14 when the 1983 Mack truck went over the right side of the road, rolled over and came to a rest on its passenger side, said State Trooper Ryan Parker, who responded to investigate the accident.

"It was scary," Clem said shortly after the accident that occurred about 9:30 a.m. just north of County Road 22.

The accident happened because Clem drove the vehicle too far on the right side of the road, which caused the truck go off the shoulder and roll over, Parker said.

The Johnson Excavating driver was fooled by a thick blanket of snow covering the side of the road, Clem said.

"The way they plow the roads, it looks like it is a straight edge," Clem said of a steep gully that was hidden by a blanket of snow. "I went off the road, and the side was just steep enough to cause the truck to roll over."

Clem was driving close to the right edge of the roadway because a front-end loader, being driven by Josh Andrew, was ahead of him on the left side of the road.

"He was driving as far on the right side of the road as he could," Parker said. "He wanted to give himself as much room as he could when he passed the front-end loader."

At the time, Andrew was plowing a driveway with the tractor and saw the crash.

"He was driving near the edge of the road when he hit the steep embankment and fell over," he said. "The truck fell softly into the snow."

Once the accident occurred, Andrew immediately went to help Clem out of the truck.

"He was OK," he said. "It could have been a serious thing."

Parker issued a citation to Clem for improper mountain driving.

Clem was traveling on the road to make a gravel delivery to a nearby residence. A wrecker was called to remove the truck from the side of the road.


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