Motorcyclist killed by garbage truck on Swan Mountain may have drifted into oncoming lane
No criminal charges have been filed in the death of a motorcyclist who was killed in a collision with a garbage truck near a sharp curve on Swan Mountain Road Thursday evening, a Colorado State Patrol spokesman confirmed Friday.
Officials are still investigating all possible causes of the crash — including intoxication or a medical event — but at this time the driver of the truck is not suspected to have been impaired.
The crash occurred near where Swan Mountain Road swings uphill after passing the entrance to Summit Cove, CSP spokesman Colin Remillard said.
The motorcyclist, who was traveling eastbound toward Highway 9 and Breckenridge, is believed to have taken the curve wide, drifting slightly into the oncoming lane and prompting the fully laden garbage truck to swerve and roll over onto its side, Remillard said.
The motorcyclist then struck the garbage truck as it lay in the eastbound lane, Remillard said. He was taken to St. Anthony Summit Medical Center in Frisco, where he was pronounced dead.
Summit County Coroner Regan Wood did not release his name, cause of death or other identifying details on Friday.
An autopsy was scheduled for Saturday, although a toxicology report could take as many as six weeks to complete, Wood said. There was no official indication on Friday as to whether or not the motorcyclist might have been impaired.
The driver of the truck and another passenger riding in it were taken to Summit Medical Center to be evaluated but neither appeared to have serious physical injuries, Remillard said.
A vehicular crimes unit was dispatched to the scene from Rifle, which is standard procedure for all fatal crashes. The team was there primarily to take precise laser measurements for use in CSP’s official report on the accident, which could take weeks to complete.
Swan Mountain Road was closed in both directions for more than eight hours after the crash and didn’t reopen until 2:54 a.m. on Friday, mostly because the steep terrain and narrow road at the scene made it difficult to clear.
“The biggest issue was getting that truck upright,” Remillard said. “It was very heavy and fully loaded, so getting that thing moved was the biggest challenge.”
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