Driver receives minor injuries in truck rollover at Rabbit Ears Pass

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— The driver of a 2001 Freightliner received minor injuries Sunday in a rollover crash on U.S. Highway 40 while he was descending Rabbit Ears Pass about six miles east of Steamboat Springs. The crash occurred at 11:20 a.m. when the westbound truck entered a left-hand curve, rolled onto its right side and slid off the right side of the roadway into the embankment, according to a news release from the Colorado State Patrol.

The Freightliner, owned by CDC Transport of Florida, was pulling a 2000 Wabash box trailer with a load of bagged calcium chloride powder. According to the Patrol release, the fuel tanks ruptured during the rollover and spilled approximately 150 gallons of diesel fuel.

The driver of the truck, Fidel Pena, 44, of Florida, sustained minor injuries as a result of the crash. He was transported to Yampa Valley Medical Center and was issued a ticket for careless driving after he returned to the scene, the news release stated.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation. The Patrol report indicated that excessive speed and driver unfamiliarity with the area both contributed to the accident.

The Steamboat Springs Fire/Rescue responded to the scene to provide emergency medical services, and the Colorado Department of Transportation assisted with cleaning the roadway. The Routt County Sheriff's Office also responded and assisted with the scene investigation.

Valley Repair towed the wreckage from the scene. The cargo was not hazardous and was left overnight while clean-up arrangements are made, according to the Patrol report.

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