Pipe truck spills load, creates chaos on I-25

Pipe truck spills load, creates chaos on I-25

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - A crash on I-25 was causing major delays through Colorado Springs Tuesday morning.  Police say a semitrailer tipped over, spilling pipes.

The driver of the truck carrying PVC pipes was taken to a hospital with minor injuries. Six cars traveling south on I-25 were damaged in the accident.

All northbound and three southbound lanes were blocked immediately after the accident.  Workers with the Colorado Department of Transportation worked quickly to open up the interstate. Drivers traveling on southbound I-25 waited more than an hour before one lane was open. Drivers headed north waited almost two hours for one lane to open up.

"Right now it's a little aggravating," said stranded driver Sheila Douglas. "At least with smartphones I can -- and today's technology -- check mail.  And, if I need to, I can get on my conference call at 10 o'clock if I'm still here."

Mary Deluna was driving right behind the truck when it flipped over.  She waited for two hours before moving an inch. She missed her college class, but was grateful the pipes missed her car.

"It was so scary, I was shaking," said DeLuna.

The truck carrying PVC pipes lost control as it rounded a curve on I-25 northbound. The pipes spilled across all lanes just before the Cimarron exit. This isn't the first time the Colorado Springs Fire Department has responded to accidents in this area.

"This area of road has always been a concern just because of the tightness of the curves and going from a high rate of speed to a slower speed that needs to be used to navigate these corners," said Colorado Springs Fire Department Battalion Chief Russ Renck.

An investigation was underway Tuesday morning to determine exactly what caused the crash.

Tim Mullan was driving his work truck when he saw PVC pipes fly across the interstate.

"(The truck's) whole load (of pipes) basically came into the southbound lanes and I just pretty much jumped over the first pipe and rode about five or six more (pipes) about 100 feet," said Mullan.

Renck pointed to a large blue pipe broken in half on the side of the interstate. He said just that half of pipe weighed between 150 and 200 pounds. He said with all those pipes flying across the interstate, the situation could have been much worse.

Mullan's truck was damaged and his front tires were popped. Still, Mullan said it could have been worse.

"The pipes were traveling 50 mph my way while I'm doing 50 mph the other way and then everything just kind of hit," said Mullan.

In addition to major delays on I-25, traffic was heavier than normal on the surface streets in Colorado Springs due to the large amount of traffic that was diverted off of the interstate.


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