Ice patch sends truck careening to the shore of Lake Dillon |

Ice patch sends truck careening to the shore of Lake Dillon

Reid Williams

SWAN MOUNTAIN – Two skiers headed to Keystone hit the slopes earlier than expected when the truck they were driving rolled off Swan Mountain Road onto the banks of Dillon Reservoir Tuesday morning.

Jeff Sprain, of Denver, and Otto Welper, of Houston, were driving east from Frisco on Swan Mountain Road about 10 a.m., Welper said, when their Dodge Ram Charger truck hit a patch of ice. On the downhill slope across from the Summerwood neighborhood – about a mile from the intersection with U.S. Highway 6 – the truck began to slide. Sprain tried to regain control, but the vehicle crossed the oncoming traffic lane and rolled down the steep embankment. The truck rolled one and one-quarter times, prying off the two rear wheels, and came to rest on the passenger side about 30 feet from the reservoir water.

“It just kind of happened,” Welper said. He suffered small cuts to his head and said his arm was trapped outside the window when the truck stopped rolling. “We weren’t going that fast. I’m surprised they don’t sand this more. It’s treacherous.”

Welper said not more than a minute passed before passersby and rescuers braved the knee-deep snow to check on them. An engine crew from Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue responded, along with Colorado State Patrol troopers and Summit County Sheriff’s Deputies. Paul’s Towing winched the wrecked truck up to the road, from where it was to be hauled away.

“We were just complaining to each other the other night about the cost of insurance – we’ve got homes, cars, businesses and it’s expensive,” Welper said. “This is one of those moments where you’re really glad you paid for it.”

Colorado State Patrol Cpl. Lawrence Oletski said the rollover was the third accident he investigated that morning. Oletski said two other minor accidents occurred in the vicinity of Keystone Road and Highway 6, both related to icy road conditions.

“It’s just another case of people driving too fast for the conditions,” Oletski said. “I think the ice is catching people off guard.”

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