Craig man dies in Wednesday crash on US 40 near Hayden
Steamboat Springs — A 30-year-old Craig man died Wednesday in a car crash on U.S. Highway 40 about 1 mile east of Hayden.
Routt County Coroner Rob Ryg identified the man as William Kole Nielson. Ryg said Nielson’s parents live in Craig, and he was married with two small children.
“They’re very shocked and in disbelief,” Ryg said.
“We’re hanging in there,” said Nielson’s father, Kent Nielson. “He had a heart of gold. He will truly be missed.”
Nielson was driving a pickup owned by Colorado West Bottled Drinking Water and Ice. Colorado State Patrol Sgt. Scott Elliott said the crash occurred at about 2:35 p.m. at mile marker 109.
The cause of the crash is still under investigation, but Elliott said the Patrol determined Nielson was driving west and drifted into the eastbound lane. His truck sideswiped a semi going east driven by Colby Browning, 48, of Craig. They do not think he was at fault, Elliott said. The truck Browning was driving was owned by Peroulis Trucking in Craig.
Browning was taken to Yampa Valley Medical Center with minor injuries. Nielson was pronounced dead at the scene.
U.S. 40 was closed for several hours because of the crash. Elliott expected that the road would reopen at about 9 p.m. Wednesday.
Traffic was initially detoured onto county roads north of U.S. 40. The detour was moved to county roads south of U.S. 40 when there was not enough traction for semis on the slick county roads north of U.S. 40.
An environmental crew was expected to work overnight to clean up about 75 gallons of diesel fuel that spilled from the semi.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — While construction slowed down early in the pandemic, it has been “on steroids” since July even though materials and labor have often been difficult to source.