Two arrested for DUI after crashing into emergency vehicles at fuel spill near Hayden |

Two arrested for DUI after crashing into emergency vehicles at fuel spill near Hayden

Emergency responders work at the scene of a tanker rollover last Friday night east of Hayden.
Courtesy photo

HAYDEN — The Colorado State Patrol on Friday night arrested two men on suspicion of DUI after they drove into emergency vehicles at the scene of a tanker rollover east of Hayden.

U.S. Highway 40 was closed for more than seven hours, and detours were established to get cars around the crash at U.S. 40 and Routt County Road 51A, which leads to Yampa Valley Regional Airport.

The semi crash occurred at about 3:40 p.m. when the driver turned too sharp onto 51A and rolled the tanker into the ditch. Dozens of emergency responders from multiple agencies helped with the crash and directed traffic.

About an hour after the crash, a Honda Pilot ignored a roadblock and continued eastbound toward the crash.

Hayden Police Chief Greg Tuliszewski was outside directing traffic, and the Pilot hit his car and then continued west toward the scene of the semi rollover.

The 53-year-old man driving the Pilot stopped before getting to the crash scene, and troopers spoke to him.

“The driver was speaking incoherently at first,” a trooper wrote in an arrest affidavit. “I immediately detected a strong odor of an unknown alcoholic beverage coming from his breath.”

The driver was unable to safely complete roadside sobriety tests, and he blew a .15 when tested at the Hayden Police Station, according to the affidavit.

He was arrested on suspicion of DUI, DUI per se, leaving the scene of an accident, failure to notify police of an accident, reckless driving and for failing to present evidence of insurance.

At about 10:30 p.m., a Nissan driven by a 58-year-old Hayden man hit a Colorado Department of Transportation truck that was being used for traffic control at the east side of the roadblock.

Both vehicles had extensive front-end damage. The driver of the CDOT truck was not in the vehicle.

Troopers spoke to the driver of the Nissan, and they noticed he was unsteady on his feet and smelled like alcohol, according to an arrest affidavit.

The man told troopers he had consumed two beers.

When troopers asked the man how drunk he felt on a scale of one to 10, the man said he was “pretty drunk,” according to the affidavit.

The man did a breath test, and he blew a .14.

He was arrested on suspicion of DUI and careless driving.

Cleaning up the spill

It is estimated that between 80 and 100 gallons of jet fuel spilled from the tanker.

Emergency responders were able to construct a dam so the fuel did not travel through a culvert.

Routt County Environmental Health Director Scott Cowman visited the site Monday, and he said the emergency responders did a good job containing the spill.

Cowman is helping state officials facilitate clean up of the spill.

The trucking company and their insurance company is ultimately responsible for making sure the spill is cleaned up.

Yampa Valley Regional Airport Director Kevin Booth said the fuel that was not delivered due to the mishap had no impact on airport operations.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland.

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