Oversized trailer jackknifes at DoubleTree intersection

Traffic flow interrupted for almost two hours

An oversized truck carrying a 60,000-gallon empty propane tank got stuck in the U.S. Highway 550/160 continuous-flow intersection shortly after 5 p.m. Thursday. Traffic was backed up in all directions for almost two hours. Enlarge photo

Jerry McBride/Durango Herald

An oversized truck carrying a 60,000-gallon empty propane tank got stuck in the U.S. Highway 550/160 continuous-flow intersection shortly after 5 p.m. Thursday. Traffic was backed up in all directions for almost two hours.

The driver of an oversized truck failed to negotiate a turn at the intersection of U.S. Highways 550/160 on Thursday evening, causing a trailer carrying a massive propane tank to jackknife.

Cmdr. Jacob Dunlop of the Durango Police Department said the accident happened shortly after 5 p.m. during rush hour at the continuous-flow intersection.

Traffic was snarled for about a mile south on South Camino del Rio and was backed up in all directions for almost two hours. Drivers were unable to turn westbound on U.S. Highway 160.

Dunlop said the truck driver was turning left from Camino del Rio to go west on U.S. Highway 160 when he oversteered and made the turn too wide.

“My understanding is, that trailer is so long, the rear dollies steer independently,” he said. “As the truck was making the turn, the back wheels got on the other side of the median.”

The empty 60,000-gallon tank was being transported to a propane facility west of Cortez, said the driver, who did not provide his name.

“I believe there was another truck that negotiated the same turn successfully moments before, but this truck wasn’t able to do it,” Dunlop said.

Northbound traffic was mostly unaffected, although it could not turn west onto U.S. Highway 160.

Southbound traffic on Camino del Rio was rerouted to the right-hand turn lane and then directed across U.S. Highway 160 to rejoin Camino del Rio on the south side of the intersection.

Dunlop said crews cleared the intersection at about 6:50 p.m. after dragging the trailer backward to get the rear wheels on the other side of the median.

“They made sure the dolly was properly secured,” he said. “It took time for traffic to normalize.”

Officers are investigating the driver for careless driving, Dunlop said.

“We are still working with the driver on that, but the intent is to cite him for careless driving,” he said.

mrupani@durangoherald.com

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An oversized truck carrying a 60,000-gallon empty propane tank got stuck in the U.S. Highway 550/160 continuous-flow intersection shortly after 5 p.m. Thursday. The rear dolly of the 135-foot-long rig got caught on the median. Enlarge photo

Jerry McBride/Durango Herald

An oversized truck carrying a 60,000-gallon empty propane tank got stuck in the U.S. Highway 550/160 continuous-flow intersection shortly after 5 p.m. Thursday. The rear dolly of the 135-foot-long rig got caught on the median.

Wayne Lile, a 20-year veteran tow truck driver with Bo Dean’s Towing, helped move the rear dolly of an oversized truck caught in the U.S. Highway 550/160 continuous-flow intersection Thursday evening. The rear dolly of the 135-foot-long rig got stuck on the median. Enlarge photo

Jerry McBride/Durango Herald

Wayne Lile, a 20-year veteran tow truck driver with Bo Dean’s Towing, helped move the rear dolly of an oversized truck caught in the U.S. Highway 550/160 continuous-flow intersection Thursday evening. The rear dolly of the 135-foot-long rig got stuck on the median.

Bo Dean’s Towing used two heavy tow trucks to move the rear dolly on an oversized truck that got stuck in the U.S. Highway 550/160 continuous-flow intersection Thursday evening. Enlarge photo

Jerry McBride/Durango Herald

Bo Dean’s Towing used two heavy tow trucks to move the rear dolly on an oversized truck that got stuck in the U.S. Highway 550/160 continuous-flow intersection Thursday evening.

Bo Dean’s Towing used two heavy tow trucks to move the rear dolly on an oversized truck that got stuck in the U.S. Highway 550/160 continuous-flow intersection Thursday evening. Enlarge photo

Jerry McBride/Durango Herald

Bo Dean’s Towing used two heavy tow trucks to move the rear dolly on an oversized truck that got stuck in the U.S. Highway 550/160 continuous-flow intersection Thursday evening.

Traffic was backed up in the westbound lanes of Camino del Rio after an oversized truck that got stuck shortly after 5 p.m. in the U.S. Highway 550/160 continuous-flow intersection Thursday evening. The intersection was cleared at about 6:50 p.m. Enlarge photo

Jerry McBride/Durango Herald

Traffic was backed up in the westbound lanes of Camino del Rio after an oversized truck that got stuck shortly after 5 p.m. in the U.S. Highway 550/160 continuous-flow intersection Thursday evening. The intersection was cleared at about 6:50 p.m.

Jerry McBride/Durango Herald 
Bo Dean’s Towing used two heavy tow trucks to move the rear dolly on an oversized truck that got stuck in the U.S. Highway 550/160 continuous-flow intersection Thursday evening. The truck was carrying an empty 60,000-gallon propane tank. Enlarge photo

Jerry McBride/Durango Herald Bo Dean’s Towing used two heavy tow trucks to move the rear dolly on an oversized truck that got stuck in the U.S. Highway 550/160 continuous-flow intersection Thursday evening. The truck was carrying an empty 60,000-gallon propane tank.

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