3 injured after big rig flips, traps cars under sand in Boulder; good Samaritans help dig out driver

BOULDER, Colo. - Authorities in Boulder say at least three people were taken to the hospital after a tractor-trailer flipped over and dumped dirt onto several vehicles on Baseline Road.

The wreck occurred at about 5:39 p.m. when the driver of the semi-truck heading northbound on Foothills Parkway lost control of his truck when he attempted to turn eastbound onto Baseline Road, according to the Boulder Police Department.

The truck flipped onto its side, crushing two cars and spilling a load of sand onto those vehicles and other vehicles -- trapping some drivers in their cars -- which were traveling westbound on Baseline. Several cars crashed behind them in a chain reaction, police said in a news release.

At least five vehicles were damaged in the wreck.

Officers tweeted that two drivers managed to free themselves from their vehicles, but one driver remained trapped under the sand.

The first Boulder police officers who arrived at the scene rushed to dig the trapped driver out of the car, using their hands. Firefighters from Boulder Fire-Rescue and officers from other law enforcement agencies also used their hands to remove the sand.

Several good Samaritans who witnessed the wreck stopped to help, some of them bringing shovels and buckets and some of them also digging with their hands to remove the sand and rescue the driver.

Firefighters pulled the trapped driver out of the vehicle by cutting the roof and door off of the car.

A firefighter lay on top of the car, talking to the driver, during the rescue. The driver was conscious and the firefighter reassured him and explained what was happening during the rescue, police said.

Police said the trapped driver, an adult male, was taken to the hospital and is being treated. His injuries are unknown at this time.

The driver of the semi-truck and one other person were also transported to the hospital for treatment. Their injuries are unknown at this time. Both were conscious.

Officers said Baseline Road just east of Foothills will remain closed until the vehicles are removed from the scene and diesel fuel which spilled during the accident is removed by hazmat crews.

It may be midnight before the road is reopened, so drivers were encouraged to avoid the area of Baseline and Foothills while the cleanup takes place.

Boulder police said they are continuing to investigate the crash to find out what caused the semi driver to lose control. 

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