Trooper rear-ends log truck


— A Colorado State Trooper may be issued a citation for an accident Tuesday afternoon where a patrol vehicle was totaled on Rabbit Ears Pass when it rear-ended a logging truck.

Trooper Richard Kaspar could be ticketed for the accident that occurred at about noon on U.S. 40 at milepost 141, said Sgt. Duane Bradley, Kaspar's supervisor.

"Myself and my superiors will review the accident and the circumstances," Bradley said. "We will treat the trooper like any other citizen involved in an accident."

Kaspar and the logging truck driver, Steven Winschell, 44, of Rifle were not injured in the accident.

The accident happened about two miles west of the Rabbit Ears Pass base when Kaspar was trying to stop the logging truck for a chain violation, Bradley said.

Kaspar, who was driving a 1999 Chevrolet Lumina, and the truck were traveling eastbound on the pass when the truck's radiator malfunctioned.

When the truck's radiator failed, hot fluid started to spray out from under the engine, which created a thick fog, Bradley said.

"Because of the fog, the truck slowed down rapidly," Bradley said. "The trooper could not see and rear-ended the logging truck."

Kaspar's vehicle suffered extensive front-end damage, which Bradley said probably "totaled" the vehicle.

The silver patrol car, which Bradley did not know the value of, was towed from the scene, he said.

The logging truck was not damaged and Winschell was not cited for not abiding by the chain restriction instituted by the Colorado Department of Transportation, Bradley said.

Winschell turned the truck around and was planning to drive to Steamboat Springs to fix the truck's radiator, Bradley said.

Bradley said the roads were slushy where the accident occurred.

Kaspar, who has been working for the State Patrol for a year and a half, did not need medical attention and resumed working his shift.

"It was one of those sudden things that happen," Bradley said.


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