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Fiery crash damages utility tower; debris attracts onlookers

WELD COUNTY, Colo. -- The wreckage from a fiery crash in Weld County is drawing a lot of attention and safety concerns. Since Sunday, twisted metal crushed against a utility tower and a large debris field have been gaining attention along Weld County Road 74.

"Literally, the cars keep piling up every time you drive by it," said one onlooker who stopped to take pictures.

What was a pickup truck is now part of a large utility tower, located halfway between Eaton and Severance.

Those who know the driver said he was enjoying his 21st birthday when his celebration ended in a what could have been a tragedy. Colorado State Patrol troopers believe alcohol was a factor.

"This probably was the worst accident I've ever seen, and somebody is actually still alive from that, which is pretty crazy," said one of many drivers stopping to see the wreckage Tuesday.

The victim was not wearing a seat belt, allowing him to be ejected from the pickup truck before it hit the tower. The impact was so strong, several sections of the tower suffered damage.

All of the interest is making neighbors nervous. They worry the new-found attention could lead to another crash, and they're surprised -- days later -- the mess hasn't been cleaned up.

"It should've been covered up," a resident said. "It should've been taken care of earlier."

CSP said a tow truck company is responsible for the cleanup, but the company said it can't touch the heap of metal until the federal government gives clearance.

Extra removal precautions are required because the large tower, which carries a lot of electricity, is compromised. Authorities said clearance to remove the debris could come as soon as Wednesday.