A section of a wind turbine tower weighing 68 tons shifted and caused to trailer it was on to roll onto westbound Pueblo Boulevard at Driftwood around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Pueblo Boulevard was closed in that area much of the day and finally re-opened about 8:30 Tuesday evening.
11 News is asking questions and getting answers after the scary and potentially deadly situation.
According to Pueblo Police, the load was being hauled very low to the ground and it appears that one end of the tower section struck the pavement. That impact caused it to shift, rolling with the trailer.
Officials tell us after investigating that it was a mechanical failure that caused the load to tip. After striking the pavement, police say a frame of the trailer broke and bolts came loose. It came to rest, still partially connected to the cab, on its right side.
Police say the tower section was from the Vestas plant. They initially thought that the driver failed to secure two cables on the rear part of the trailer, but later discovered the mechanical failure.
Pueblo police tell 11 News that Challenger Motor Freight Inc. was the company transporting the turbine piece and that they will be ticketed and fined for the incident.
Fortunately there were no injuries and the only damage appears to be to the roadway and to the trailer.
Cranes were called in to life the tower section onto another trailer.
People who live in the neighborhood are thankful that the situation wasn’t worse, but can’t help but fear what could have been.
Neighbors tell 11 news they are scared to think that any one of them could have been walking on the sidewalk when the tower toppled over.
Even more concerning to them is that it’s something that could have been prevented.
“Very uneasy, very uneasy and scary; glad no one was there,” said Heather Foechterle.
Foechterle lives on Driftwood Street at the corner of Pueblo Blvd. Tuesday morning she received a rude awakening.
“I was woken by a big crash, it sounded like two railroad cars just slamming together. It was pretty scary,” said Foechterle.
But when she looked out her window that was the last thing she expected to see. The 68 ton section of wind turbine tower slammed into the road, barely missing the sidewalk.
An incident that terrifies Sean McCoy; it’s a route he and his 3-year-old son take everyday.
“Makes me shake a little bit. We walk here everyday, he rides his bike every night. Could have been worse than it is, good thing no one was hurt,” said McCoy.
The incident forced at least one man out of his home.
“They need to take more precautions and think about what it would effect if something like this did happen. It could have been a lot worse but next time they might not be so lucky,” said an evacuated resident.
Some spectators understand that accidents happen and don’t want to pass along any blame. Others are just asking that more be done to stop this from happening again.
“They just need to take more precaution, that's for sure,” said Foechterle.
11 News could not reach Challenger officials for comment.
Vestas released the following statement:
“On Tuesday morning, May 1, 2012, a 95-meter wind tower section in transport tipped over in Pueblo, Colorado. The tower did not detach from the trailer. There were no other vehicles involved, and there were no injuries associated with this incident. We are working with the transport company, our subcontractors, to investigate the root cause of this incident.”
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