GARFIELD COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — According to Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, 21 people had to be rescued from a Greyhound bus after getting stuck approximately 22 miles up Coffee Pot Springs Road. One of the people on board was a woman with a heart condition.
It’s believed that the driver of the bus was trying to avoid the long detour around Glenwood Canyon, that’s indefinitely closed due to damage from recent mudslides. Coffee Pot Road is a dirt and gravel road that according to the sheriff’s office, is typically travelled by four-wheel drive and all-terrain vehicles to access the White River National Forest wilderness area.
“By trying to navigate the roadway the Greyhound Bus managed to tear a hole through the bottom of its engine’s oil pan creating an oil spill along this high mountain road,” GCSO said in a press release. “ECOS was called in immediately for a hazardous materials spill cleanup to avoid further spread of the oil contaminant.”
Almost five hours later, passengers and their luggage were loaded into emergency vehicles and taken back down the mountain. The caravan reached Interstate 70 after midnight. Officials told FOX31 on Sunday, the passengers were given hotel rooms in Eagle County.
“Catastrophe was avoided this time. Travelers are advised not to follow GPS mapping in an attempt to circumvent the I-70 closure through Glenwood Canyon,” GCSO said. “Backcountry roads are unpredictable and can be treacherous or deadly for the unprepared traveler.”
Officials want all travelers to remember the recommended route around the canyon is exiting I-70 at Exit 205 and traveling north on Colorado Highway 9 towards Kremmling.
“Travelers will then continue west on US Highway 40 and south on CO 13 to complete the alternate route and returning to I-70 at Rifle (Exit 90),” GCSO said. “When traveling east simply reverse this path. The detour can add between 1 ½ hours to 2 hours to your trip, depending on traffic, but you will be on well-traveled and paved roads with multiple towns and rest areas along the way.”