Trucker killed while changing snow chains
VAIL A semi-truck driver died after at least one vehicle hit him on Interstate 70 in East Vail Thursday, authorities said. Eduardo Gandarilla, 36, of Los Angeles, was removing chains from his wheels when a semi truck hit him shortly after 1 p.m., authorities said. Witnesses said the man was hit again by another vehicle that continued down the highway, Vail Police Cmdr. Susan Douglas said. There is a possibility he was hit multiple times, Douglas said. Police have not confirmed the witnesses accounts, she said. Gandarilla was taken to Vail Valley Medical Center where he died from unknown injuries, authorities said.The name of the semi-truck driver who hit him wont be released until authorities complete their investigation, she said. Douglas didnt know if anyone else was injured, she said. Authorities are still investigating the cause of the crash and Gandarillas death, she said. The west lanes of Interstate 70 were closed at mile marker 180 in East Vail for about three hours while authorities investigated the crash, which occurred at mile marker 178, authorities said. Traffic heading west was diverted at the East Vail exit to the south frontage road, and then back to the interstate at the main Vail exit. A Wal-Mart driver was hit and killed by an out-of-control SUV Jan. 7 as he took the chains off his truck at a designated chain station in Georgetown. In August, crews began construction of 137 new parking spaces for semi truck drivers in Clear Creek and Summit counties, as well as putting up new signs to slow down other drivers near chain-up stations and signs to warn that the chain law is in effect.More space for truckers to chain up around Vail Pass will be looked at in the second phase of the project, said State Rep. Dan Gibbs, D-Silverthorne. Im extremely and deeply saddened by the passing of this driver, Gibbs said. Its very important that truck drivers have a safe area to chain up, he added. The work is being done in response to a beefed-up chain law that raises the fines for drivers who dont abide by chain restrictions from $100 to a maximum of $1,000.Summit Daily Staff Writer Nicole Formosa contributed to this story. Staff Writer Steve Lynn can be reached at 748-2931 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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