FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
28 April 2015
Contact: Steve Lipsher, Public Information Officer
Office: (970) 262-5209
Lake Dillon Fire crews respond to overturned battery truck
Lake Dillon firefighters worked into the evening Tuesday to contain an estimated 30 gallons of battery acid that spilled after a semi-tractor trailer carrying hundreds of vehicle batteries crashed, closing both directions of Interstate 70 east of Silverthorne.
The crash occurred just before 5 p.m., as the westbound truck coming down from the Eisenhower Tunnel reportedly at high speed overturned, scattering batteries across the both directions of the highway near Mile Marker 208.
An off-duty Lake Dillon firefighter narrowly avoided being struck in his personal vehicle by the truck and was one of the first to respond to the crash, finding the driver shaken but not complaining of injuries. The driver later was taken to the Summit Medical Center after complaining of leg and hip pain.
Batteries scattering across the highway struck and damaged a vehicle pulling a boat going eastbound and a second vehicle traveling westbound.
The battery acid registered a pH of about 1, requiring firefighters in hazardous-materials suits to dam up runoff and neutralize it with soda ash.
By 6:30 p.m., one lane of eastbound traffic was allowed to resume past the crash site, but removal of the overturned truck and the subsequent cleanup of batteries and battery acid by a private company was expected to last into the night, keeping the westbound lanes closed at the Loveland Pass exit indefinitely.