WOLF CREEK— After two days of working with Hazmat Colorado State Patrol (CSP) officials and crews with Custom Environmental, CSP gave the “all clear” for the water traveling down stream in Pass Creek on Wolf Creek Pass. Crews worked endless hours to determine that diesel spilled from a wreck that occurred on Saturday, Feb. 10 was absorbed out of the water.
It was confirmed in statement from Colorado State Patrol Trooper Trevor Moden, that the semi was traveling east on icy roads when the trailer jack knifed, completely turning around on the road and slid into Pass Creek. “He was an inexperienced driver who had only been on the truck for short period of time. We sighted him with careless driving,” said Moden. He further explained that there were no other factors involved in the wreck.
The wreck caused diesel fuel to spill onto the road and into Pass Creek where the vehicle came to rest. CSP Hazmat Officer Brent Gilleland stated that there was an estimated 50 to 70 gallons of fuel spilled after the wreck. "Fifty to 70 gallons were released from punctured tanks. Most of the fuel was on the highway and the shoulder of the road, but a small amount did make it into Pass Creek," stated Gilleland.
According to Gilleland, crews who responded to the scene on the evening of Feb. 10, used hazmat equipment to remove the remaining fuel from the punctured tanks and transferred it into fuel safe containers in order to determine how much of the fuel had spilled. "There were punctures in the passenger side tank and the reefer tank, and we removed an estimated 40 gallons."
The next step was to attend to the fuel that had made it into Pass Creek where crews worked to stop the spread of diesel. "We put down about three booms and 10 pads to help soak up the diesel that was floating on the surface of the water. Though I can't say specifically how much made it to the water, I know it was not a lot. It is protocol to notify water users that are down stream from the spill no matter how much is spilled. I do not foresee any further issues," continued Gilleland.
Travelers heading up Wolf Creek Pass should use caution as there will be crews on the road and the pass is snow packed and icy.