Steamboat Springs A Cheyenne, Wyo., man was killed Friday morning after the truck he was driving went off Highway 40 and rolled, according to police reports.
Wendell D. Grimm, 43, was pronounced dead at the scene after his semi truck tumbled one-and-a half times and slid 140 feet, the accident report states.
Grimm was hauling a flatbed trailer loaded with cinder blocks westbound when the accident occurred near mile post 141.
Witnesses said Grimm apparently lost control of the vehicle.
Jamey Dubs and Brent Erikson, drivers for B&K Distributing, said had they not stopped they might have become part of the accident.
The two were making a run to Winter Park when they saw the tractor trailer skidding down the mountain, smoking and squealing, heading straight for them.
Dubs said Grimm's truck, jackknifed as it approached the Timbers and then slid off the right side of the road.
"If he would have made that corner, we would have been part of that wicked wreck," Erikson said.
After the tractor trailer crashed, one of its tires rolled into Dubs and Erikson's truck.
The pair got out and ran over to see if the driver was OK. Dubs said Grimm was curled up in a ball and had no pulse.
Shawn Hokaday also witnessed the crash. He was operating a backhoe on a construction site behind the Timbers. Over the whine of machine's engines, he said he heard the truck squealing out of control down the mountain. Though he didn't see the crash, because it was out of its view, he said he heard it. He said he then ran down to the accident to see if he could help.
According to the police report, Grimm was wearing his seatbelt
This was the ninth fatality to occur on Rabit Ears Pass since 1998 and the first fatality this year. Two people were killed last year.