Crash, hazmat spill closes U.S. 285 in mountains

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PARK COUNTY, Colo. — U.S. 285 was closed about 10 miles south of Fairplay in Park County Friday night because a truck’s trailer crashed and then spilled its load.

A 2002 Dodge pickup truck was heading north on Hwy. 285 shortly before 6 p.m. when the trailer detached and overturned, according to Colorado State Patrol spokesman Sgt. Mike Baker.

The trailer spilled about 10,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate. The substance is often used in fertilizer and it can act as an irritant if inhaled.The spill has not endangered any water supplies and it has not required any evacuations.

“A hazardous-materials crew from the Colorado State Patrol is en route to the scene from Golden,” Baker says. “The Colorado State Patrol, the Colorado Department of Transportation, Park County Sheriff’s Office, and local authorities are working together to ensure public safety as they contain the incident, investigate the crash, and clear the highway.”

Clean-up crews expected the highway to be shut down in both directions for several hours.

The pickup truck driver, 37-year-old Michael Martin of Buena Vista, was not hurt.