Overturned semi spills wood chips on pass

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— A semitrailer accident spilled thousands of pounds of wood chips onto U.S. 40, which delayed traffic on the east side of Rabbit Ears Friday.

A 36-year-old Briggsdale man was hauling 40,000 pounds of wood chips when he lost control of the semitrailer at about 9:30 a.m. near milepost 157, Colorado State Trooper Donald Miller said.

The man, whom authorities did not identify, was traveling eastbound when the accident occurred in Jackson County.

Miller said the semitrailer rolled onto its left side after taking a right-hand turn too fast.

When the truck rolled onto its side, Miller said about 25,000 to 30,000 pounds of wood chips were thrown all over the road.

The man, who was traveling alone, was not injured, Miller said.

"He was lucky," he said.

However, Miller did cite the man for improper mountain driving and for spilling the wood chips on the roadway.

Because of the accident, authorities shut down the highway twice to move the semitrailer and the wood chips from the roadway.

Miller said the road was closed for about 90 minutes and traffic was delayed until he left the scene at about 2 p.m. The accident also delayed traffic on Colorado 14 because it happened a couple of miles from where the road intersects with U.S. 40.

"Traffic was backed up for miles," he said.

Colorado Department of Transportation workers removed the wood chips from the road with two loaders, Miller said.

Two wreckers were used to pull the semitrailer back onto its wheels. The semitrailer was then towed from the scene, Miller said.

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