Two people died Wednesday night in a vehicle accident that those on scene said was one of the worst crash sites they've seen.
Dental records will be needed to verify the identity of the victims, Colorado State Patrol Sgt. Chad Dunlap said.
The crash occurred at 8:43 p.m. on U.S. Highway 40 near mile marker 11, just east of Dinosaur. Alcohol is suspected as being a contributing factor, according to a State Patrol report.
A Ford F-150 hauling a camper trailer was traveling eastbound, and it was partially in the westbound lane.
It collided with a Kenworth semi-tractor driving westbound. The Kenworth was hauling a tanker with a full load of compressed carbon dioxide, which in its compressed form is a liquid, but when released turns into a gas.
Both vehicles were apparently driving the speed limit at the time of the crash, which is 65 miles per hour, Dunlap said.
The Ford was pushed backward and came to rest in the middle of the roadway. The Kenworth veered to the left and began to rotate counter clockwise. The Kenworth and its tanker rolled ¾ times onto its left side.
The tanker was punctured. Both vehicles caught fire.
"It was a pretty horrific accident," said Dennis Jones, a HazMat technician with Moffat County HazMat. "Everything was on fire."
The crash scene left little for investigators to determine the make of the vehicles, Dunlap said, noting that the only thing left of the Ford was a tailgate.
The Moffat County HazMat team responded to the accident at the request of the Colorado State Patrol HazMat, which had a much longer response time than Moffat County. Colorado State Patrol HazMat relieved Moffat County HazMat once they arrived.
The crash closed U.S. Highway 40 from the time of the crash until noon Thursday.
The State Patrol is investigating the crash. The Moffat County Coroner's Office is investigating the victims' identifications. Names will be released pending notification of the family.
See Friday's Craig Daily Press or look online at www.craigdailypress.com for full story.