Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue responds to I-70 truck fire, Keystone bus crash | SummitDaily.com

Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue responds to I-70 truck fire, Keystone bus crash

Alli Langley
alangley@summitdaily.com

Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue crews responded to a semitruck that caught fire while traveling west from the Eisenhower Johnson Memorial Tunnel about 3 miles east of Silverthorne early Monday, Jan. 12, 2015.

Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue first responders were busy Monday morning.

First, they responded to a 7:19 a.m. call about an accident involving a bus on Highway 6 in Keystone.

When they arrived at 7:22 a.m., they found a Keystone Resort bus perpendicular to the highway and partially blocking the outside lane at the intersection of Highway 6 and Sts. John Road, said Steve Lipsher, Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue spokesman.

They also found a black Nissan Xterra with extensive front and passenger-side damage and a cracked windshield.

The six adults on the bus, including 45-year-old driver Kimberly Dyke, were unharmed, but the driver of the Xterra, 31-year-old Schuyler Martinec, of Dillon, was taken to St. Anthony Summit Medical Center with serious injuries, said Nate Reid, spokesman with Colorado State Patrol.

Reid said the state patrol trooper who responded determined the bus was coming from Sts. John Road when it collided with the Xterra going west on Highway 6, but an initial report did not indicate whether anyone was at fault or what caused the accident.

Recommended Stories For You

While responders addressed the bus accident, they heard a horn honking and saw a Ford Ranger skidding through the same intersection going west. The car hit a median and a sign before coming to stop in the intersection, Lipsher said.

Witnesses indicated a grey Nissan Pathfinder pulled in front of the Ranger causing that accident. The driver of the Pathfinder may or may not have been aware and didn't stop.

Minutes later, at 7:26 a.m., a truck driving west on Interstate 70 about 3 miles east of Silverthorne caught fire.

The semi driver pulled over and exited his tractor before it was engulfed in flames, Lipsher said, and when responders arrived the flames were impinging on the trailer. No injuries were reported.

CDOT officials quickly closed I-70 westbound at the Eisenhower Johnson Memorial Tunnel and reopened it about an hour later around 8:30 a.m.

Lipsher was not sure what caused the fire but said truck fires on that stretch of I-70 are often caused by drivers riding their brakes and overheating their vehicles.

Some oil spilled nearby that Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue contained, he said. Responders typically lay out absorbent booms and build dikes to stop flows from reaching waterways and causing other problems.

Sometimes they remove contaminated soil and capture water runoff though the actual clean-up work is done by an environmental company contracted through the trucking company's insurance.

In light of the accidents, Lipsher reminded drivers to slow down around first responders at crash scenes.

"Those guys have a very dangerous job out there, and it's not fun when people are zipping by as if there's nothing going on," he said.