Driver ticketed in oil spill

The driver of a semitrailer that crashed and dumped thousands of gallons of crude oil was cited Tuesday for a misdemeanor traffic offense, the Colorado State Patrol said.

Randy Curtis, 26, of Dove Creek, was ticketed on suspicion of careless driving after a preliminary investigation showed excessive speed was a likely cause of Monday’s crash on Colorado Highway 141 at milepost 128, State Trooper Nate Reid said.

Meanwhile, representatives from a host of agencies Tuesday continued to assess damage after anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000 gallons of crude oil were dumped near the banks of West Creek, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Oil was observed on the water surface Tuesday as far as one-half mile downstream from the accident site in West Creek, according to Steve Way, an EPA response coordinator who remained at the scene Tuesday.

Biologists tested trout in the creek Tuesday, and there were no confirmed cases of fish kill, Way said.

While oil was removed Monday night from the wrecked tanker, oil that had accumulated near a small wetlands area continued seeping into the water Tuesday, Way said.


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