Driver injured in semi-truck rollover

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An Edwards man was left a little "stiff and sore" and a Gypsum man sustained minor injuries Friday when two trucks collided near Oak Creek.

The accident occurred at 10:15 a.m. on Colorado Highway 131 near Oak Creek.

Colorado State Patrol Trooper Jeff Vrbas said 21-year-old Gilberto Landeros-Leyva, of Gypsum, was driving a semi-truck full of beer kegs and alcohol north on Colo. 131 when he rounded a curve at a high speed, lost control and tipped over onto a Ford F-250 Super Duty driven by Doug Johnson, 37, of Edwards.

Vrbas said Landeros-Leyva pushed Johnson's truck into a guardrail. Then Landeros-Leyva's truck came back onto the highway and tipped over onto its passenger side. The truck skidded for 139 feet and came to rest across both lanes of Colo. 131.

The highway was closed until about 3:30 p.m., when the truck was towed.

Landeros-Leyva told Vrbas he was going about 60 mph when he entered the curve "to get a run at the hill" and lost control.

"It isn't a very big hill, but his speed seems accurate to me," Vrbas said. "If he was going faster, it would have only been slightly over that."

The speed limit on that stretch of the highway is 45 mph.

Vrbas said Landeros-Leyva was driving a shipment of alcohol for an Eagle-based distribution company, High Point Distribution, to Steamboat. Vrbas said the company's manager told Vrbas that Landeros-Leyva was not familiar with that stretch of road but was familiar with driving such loads for the company.

Landeros-Leyva was taken to Yampa Valley Medical Center for minor cuts to his back, legs and feet, Vrbas said.

Johnson refused medical attention at the scene of the accident.

Johnson, who said he was "lucky" Friday, thinks Landeros-Leyva was traveling faster than 60 mph, based on what he saw in the seconds before the accident.

"He was going so fast that when I first saw him come around that hill, he was on two wheels. He fell right on top of me," he said.

Johnson said his "gnarly bumper" ripped open Landeros-Leyva's truck, causing some of its contents to spill across the road.

"I knew he was going to hit me, so I laid down to the right, in case my cab came down," he said.

Johnson said he is glad for the guardrail's protection and his truck's weight because he doesn't think the accident would have ended well without them.

"If I had been in a lighter car, I think he would have taken us both right over the edge."

Johnson said he was on his way back to work in Edwards after dropping off his 14-year-old nephew, Matthew White, in Steamboat for a junior Olympic qualifying race.

Landeros-Leyva was cited for careless driving. Vrbas said use of drugs and alcohol is not suspected in the accident.

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