A semitrailer rolled near mile marker 141 on U.S. Highway 40 on Wednesday night after the driver failed check his brakes at the top of Rabbit Ears Pass.

Photo by Matt Stensland

A semitrailer rolled near mile marker 141 on U.S. Highway 40 on Wednesday night after the driver failed check his brakes at the top of Rabbit Ears Pass.

Semitrailer rolls on Rabbit Ears Pass

Sharp corner near The Timbers has history of truck accidents

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— The driver of a semitrailer sustained minor injuries when his truck rolled Wednesday night near mile marker 141 on U.S. Highway 40. The driver failed to check his brakes at the west summit before heading down the pass toward Steamboat Springs, according to the Colorado State Patrol.

The crash occurred at about 7:30 p.m., as the driver came around a sharp curve near Runaway Place and The Timbers condominiums. Driver Joel Cooper, 35, of Midway, Fla., was hauling bottled water and potted plants, Trooper Brady Kobus said.

"He did not stop at the top of the pass to check his brakes. He came down too fast," Kobus said. "He slammed up against the mountain at the side of The Timbers."

The truck's cab and trailer both rolled and detached from one another, spilling the semi's cargo on U.S. 40. The mangled truck was towed off the pass Wednesday night, but cleanup of the debris continued Thursday morning.

"The trailer was basically totaled, same as the cab," Kobus said.

Cooper suffered minor injuries and was transported via ambulance to Yampa Valley Medical Center as a precaution, Kobus said. He said the driver also was cited for careless driving.

The site of the crash is downhill from the west summit's runaway truck ramp, Kobus said, adding that the area where the crash occurred has a history of accidents.

A semitrailer rolled at the same location in October 2007, after the truck's brakes reportedly failed. The driver - hauling truck tires, hardwood flooring and shotgun shells - sustained minor injuries, according to newspaper archives. Another truck driver died after rolling his truck on the same stretch of road in March 2007.

Comments

Brant McLaughlin 5 years, 9 months ago

We just have to stop these people from driving around in semitrailers without the truck attached.

semitrailer Show Spelled Pronunciation [sem-i-trey-ler] noun 1. a detachable trailer for hauling freight, with wheels at the rear end, the forward end being supported by the rear of a truck when attached.

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bellyup 5 years, 9 months ago

Why do we even need bottled water to be trucked into Steamboat? We must be really lazy and/or stupid.

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canudigit 5 years, 9 months ago

When will they make this stretch of Hwy 40 safer? They fixed the other side of the pass a couple of years ago to prevent accidents. This is another common area for truck accidents. How many fatalities do we have to have up there before something is done?

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