Trucker charged in crash into Frisco Best Western
FRISCO – William Bowman, the trucker who crashed into the pool area of the Best Western Lake Dillon Lodge May 29, most likely fell asleep at the wheel, a Colorado State Patrol (CSP) report indicates.
Last week, CSP officers cited Bowman for failing to have proof of insurance in the cab of the vehicle, careless driving and violating CSP rules and regulations concerning the transport of hazardous materials. That charge elevates the severity of the careless driving charge because of the potential danger in transporting gasoline.
Bowman was not speeding, nor were drugs or alcohol involved in the late-night incident.
According to CSP haz-mat technician Wayne Sanderlin, the investigation later revealed that Bowman had insurance for his vehicle; he will have to present that in court to have that charge dropped. The CSP rules and regulations charge doesn’t carry points against his license, and Bowman likely will get to keep his commercial driver’s license.
Bowman was eastbound on Interstate 70 in his semi when it careened off the road, over a culvert, through a parking lot and an oversized planter before it embedded itself into the cinder block wall of the hotel. Paramedics took Bowman to St. Anthony’s Hospital in Denver for treatment, and firefighters marveled that the semi, which was capable of holding 10,000 gallons of gasoline, was empty.
“”Empty’ is a relative term,” Sanderlin said. “The piping underneath is allowed to have fluid in it. Sometimes when a truck is “empty,’ there can be 40 to 50 gallons of fuel in the plumbing.”
And an empty tanker can be just as dangerous as a full one because vapors are more flammable than liquid, according to CSP Sgt. Mark Savage.
“The good news is, had the piping broken, the gas would have spilled into a planter and the parking lot,” Sanderlin said. “Had the truck been completely loaded, things could have been much more exciting.”
Jane Stebbins can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 228 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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