DENVER – Colorado State Patrol said Monday they believe that driver fatigue may have led a diesel tanker to roll over on northbound I-25 near Loveland early Saturday morning, which led to a closure of the interstate for most of the weekend.
CSP identified the driver of the diesel tanker as John Brothersen, 67, of Henderson, and said he was taken to a hospital with moderate injuries after the crash, as well as cited for careless driving.
CSP said the investigation into the crash is still ongoing but said, “At this time, driver fatigue is being considered the primary factor for the tanker.” The agency said drugs and alcohol, speeding, an overweight load and mechanical malfunctions are not suspected as contributing to the crash.
The crash happened around 1 a.m. Saturday between exists 255 and 257 – an area which is under construction and has traffic reconfigurations and lower speed limits that normal currently in place.
The rollover led the truck to spill more than 11,00 gallons of diesel fuel onto the road and nearby soil, leading to a closure of more than 36 hours as crews repaired the roads and worked to clean up the fuel spill. The driver of the truck was the only person involved in the crash.
The Environmental Protection Agency was brought in to oversee the cleanup of the fuel to be sure it does not get into the Big Thompson River. The interstate reopened in both directions on Sunday afternoon.
“The danger of drowsy driving is that it makes the operator less able to pay attention to the road and it slows a person’s reaction time if they have to brake or steer suddenly,” stated Captain Mark Bonfield, Colorado State Patrol. “Driving while fatigued is comparable to drunk driving. And, falling asleep is the worst scenario that often leads to large-scale or tragic consequences.”