GOLDEN, Colo. - A semi-truck driver who lost his brakes plunged down an embankment to avoid crashing into backed-up afternoon commute traffic on Interstate 70 in Golden, the Colorado State Patrol said.
The trucker, identified by CSP as Kevin Beaulieu, was hauling big rolls of paper and used his CB radio to warn other motorists that his brakes had failed as he drove down I-70 from the mountains on Thursday, a state trooper told 7NEWS photojournalist Justin Beach.
As he came into Golden about 5:30 p.m. and saw commute traffic slowing ahead, the trucker steered the big rig into the highway's grassy center median to avoid plowing into cars, the trooper said.
When the highway came to a ravine -- where regular traffic crossed on bridges -- the trucker on the median was forced to plunge 40 feet down a concrete embankment onto the southbound lanes of Golden Road.
Amazingly, the trucker walked away from the wreck. He was taken to a hospital for a precautionary checkup -- and no one else was injured, the State Patrol said.
The accident could have been a lot worse, considering the volume of commute traffic.
The Vice President of Safety and Risk Management at Knight Transportation Co., Brett Sant, said the company is investigating what happened.
“We’re very glad he was not hurt,” Sant said, “and that no one else was involved.”
He won't speculate on the incident, but did say generally, when there is an incident like this, they have an idea, based on experience, about what happened. Sant also said that the company maintains equipment with servicing and inspections every 30 days.
"We don't believe there were maintenance issues," he said.
CSP says decisions on any possible citations will not be made until after the report is finalized.