Trucker cited in overpass collision

A Utah trucker was ticketed Tuesday after his semitrailer clipped the bottom of the 25 Road overpass on Interstate 70, closing the shoulder of the overpass for inspection for most of the day.

Andrew Smuin, 31, who was operating on behalf of R.W. Jones Trucking in Vernal, was driving east when the collision was reported by witnesses around 8 a.m. The collision knocked sections of concrete into I-70 traffic and exposing rebar.

Smuin didn’t pull over until milepost 60 near De Beque Canyon, Colorado State Patrol Trooper Nate Reid said. It wasn’t clear if he was pulled over by another police agency, or if he stopped on his own accord some roughly 31 miles east of the collision, Reid said.

Smuin was cited on suspicion of careless driving, leaving the scene of an accident, failure to report an accident, operating an over-height vehicle and causing an accident involving a highway structure. He was released after being given a ticket.

The overpass has a clearance of 15 feet 5 inches, while Reid said Smuin’s truck was “quite a bit” over that limit but didn’t release specifics.

Smuin allegedly didn’t have a required permit for operating an over-height vehicle in Colorado.  “Even if you have one, it’s still the responsibility of the driver to know the route,” Reid said.

Ashley Moore, spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Transportation, said inspection Tuesday afternoon showed the overpass remains structurally sound. CDOT crews are expected to undertake repairs later this week, she said.

R.W. Jones Trucking will be billed for the damage, Moore said.


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