Route 115 returns to normal following the overturning of a propane tanker

PENROSE, Colo. (KKTV) — The 115 freeway has returned to normal after being shut down for several hours on Wednesday for an overturned propane tanker.

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

“The tanker driver ended up getting distracted, going off the road into the opposing lanes of traffic,” Colorado State Patrol Trooper Josh Lewis said. “It was then that there was a collision between the two vehicles which caused injuries to the driver of the Toyota.”

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

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

“Because it was a tank truck that had hazardous materials in it, it wasn’t as easy as straightening it out because it rolled on its side,” Lewis said. “As a result, we had to, first, determine if there was an active leak. Once that was determined, we had to offload those hazardous materials into another tank truck. Then, at that point, we were able to straighten out. and move the overturned semi-trailer.

The process “wasn’t quick,” Lewis added.

While crews worked on the scene, Route 115 was closed between Route 50 and Route 120.

The road reopened Wednesday afternoon.

State Patrol says the accident was caused by distracted driving and overcorrection.

“The easiest solution is to always watch what you’re doing behind the wheel, whether you’re driving a tractor-trailer or your own personal vehicle,” Lewis said.

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