1 dead after beer-hauler, car collide in Glenwood Canyon near Hanging Lake tunnel

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. - A fiery collision between a beer hauler and a car in an I-70 construction zone killed one person and injured four others early Wednesday morning.

The crash happened at mile marker 127, in Glenwood Canyon just east of the Hanging Lake tunnel at approximately 4:30 a.m.

Colorado State Patrol spokesman Trooper Nate Reid said the crash site is 11 miles east of Glenwood Springs, within a construction zone where both directions of traffic are sharing what is normally the westbound side.

A Mazda sedan was traveling eastbound when it abruptly switched to the westbound side and collided head-on with a tractor-trailer that had just exited a tunnel. The reason why the Mazda switched lanes is still under investigation, Reid said.

In the impact, both vehicles burst into flames. The Mazda spun at least once counterclockwise before coming to rest facing the wrong way in the westbound lane. The truck continued until it crashed into the cement barrier and stopped in the eastbound lane.

Witnesses to the crash were able to pull three occupants out of the burning Mazda, but the driver was pronounced dead on the scene.  Reid said the driver of the truck escaped without injury.

One of the truck's tanks ruptured, leaking about 100 gallons of diesel fuel. Hazardous materials teams have been called out to clean up the spill.

The interstate is expected to reopen at 1 p.m.