Car-sized debris on I-25 costs drivers, experts say don’t swerve

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DENVER (KDVR) — A viewer called FOX31 Problem Solvers for help after a massive piece of debris on the interstate prompted a crash he now has to pay for.

Around 5:30 a.m. Monday, Isaiah Garcia’s routine commute quickly took a dangerous turn in the dark.

“It was right in the middle of the lane in the middle of the interstate,” Garcia said, adding “It looked like some housing insulation mixed with some dry wall and it was probably the size of, maybe a little bigger than the car, it was huge.”

Garcia captured footage of the massive debris as a plow moved it off the road after his collision with another car.

According to AAA Colorado, about 25,000 claims related to debris are filed each year across the country.

“It is also going to be frustrating because, generally, the insurance agency is going to say if your hitting debris, especially debris that was stationary in the road, you are likely at fault,” AAA Colorado’s Director of Public Affairs Skyler McKinley said. 

McKinley tells the Problem Solvers this unfortunate situation shows why bare minimum isn’t always best with insurance coverage.

“Liability alone, which is the bare minimum needed in Colorado, is going to leave you holding the bag in this situation,” McKinley said. 

Despite the cost of deductibles, AAA and Colorado State Patrol says you shouldn’t try to swerve to avoid debris.

“It may sound strange, but usually the best thing to do is to hit the debris unless they’re able to see far enough down the roadway and move to another lane to avoid it,” CSP Sgt. Blake White said, adding “When people try to avoid debris or an animal on the roadway, swerve, and roll over it is usually a much worse crash.” 

Sgt. White says, while it is very difficult to locate the owners of road debris, a driver who drops debris on the roadway can be charged with spilling their load if located. 

Garcia knows it is a long shot, but he’s hoping someone saw what happened and comes forward. His insurance company says that could help cover his costs.

CDOT can be contacted in the event a driver discovers debris on the road that could cause an accident.

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