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Highway 115 back to normal following propane tanker rollover

Crews emptied an overturned propane tanker in the middle of a Colorado highway following a crash Wednesday morning.
Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 10:27 AM MST|Updated: Jan. 27, 2022 at 6:41 AM MST
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PENROSE, Colo. (KKTV) - Highway 115 is back to normal following an hours-long closure Wednesday for an overturned propane tanker.

State Patrol tells 11 News the tanker flipped over after colliding with a SUV on Highway 115 near Penrose just after 8:20 a.m.

“The driver of the tanker ended up being distracted, going off the road into the opposite lanes of traffic,” said Trooper Josh Lewis with Colorado State Patrol. “That’s when there was a collision between the two vehicles that resulted in the injuries to the driver of the Toyota.”

The injuries to the driver of the SUV were described as serious but not life-threatening. They were taken to the hospital.

The most onerous part of the crash aftermath was emptying the propane tanker so it could be put back on its wheels.

“Because this was a tanker that contained hazardous materials, it wasn’t as simple as uprighting it because it did roll onto its side,” Lewis said. “As a result, we needed to, one, determine if there was any active leak. Once that was determined, we needed to offload that hazardous material into another tanker. Then at that point, we could upright and move the semi that had rolled over.”

The process “was not quick,” Lewis added.

While crews worked at the scene, Highway 115 was closed between Highway 50 and Highway 120.

The road reopened Wednesday afternoon.

State Patrol says the crash was caused by distracted driving and overcorrecting.

“The simplest solution is to always pay attention to what it is that you’re doing behind the wheel, whether you are driving a tanker semi or your own personal vehicle,” Lewis said.

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