Tanker rollover spills jet fuel near Yampa Valley Regional Airport; closes U.S. 40 for 8 hours
HAYDEN — A fuel tanker en route to the Yampa Valley Regional Airport crashed as it attempted to turn from U.S. Highway 40 onto Routt County Road 51A at 3:15 p.m. Friday. The tanker rolled onto its side and began leaking jet fuel under the highway.
About 100 gallons of fuel spilled into a culvert underneath U.S. 40. The semi was carrying about 6,700 gallons of fuel. Colorado State Patrol and Craig Fire/Rescue hazardous materials teams plugged the leak with wax rings and placed dykes at the end of the culvert to contain what had already spilled. The fuel remaining in the tank was transferred to another truck.
“It was pretty much a straightforward tanker rollover call,” said Craig Fire/Rescue Battalion Chief Troy Hampton.
U.S. 40 was closed in the vicinity of the crash, and traffic was re-routed via Routt County Road 37. The highway was closed for about eight hours as crews worked to contain the leak. U.S. 40 re-opened at 11:13 p.m. Assistant Airport Director Tinneal Gerber said flight operations were not affected. Passengers used detours to get to the airport for the day’s last departing flight.
“YVRA appreciates the support and coordination of all the organizations that responded to the incident to help ensure minimal impacts on airport operations,” Gerber said in an email.
The driver, 61-year-old Patrick Cluck, of Utah, complained of an undisclosed injury. He will be cited for careless driving.
The trucking company will be responsible for clean-up of the fuel. Fuel spills often require contaminated soil to be dug out and removed, Hampton said. State Patrol Public Information Officer Gary Cutler said CSP did not have the trucking company’s name at this time. The company is in Utah.
Colorado State Patrol, West Routt Fire Protection District, Routt County Sheriff’s Office, Craig Fire/Rescue and airport operations/safety and maintenance staff responded to the scene.
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