LAKEWOOD, Colo. (KDVR) — Jury selection began Friday in the trial of a man accused of causing a fiery crash on Interstate 70 in Lakewood two years ago.
Prosecutors are arguing that the driver was reckless, causing the crash which killed four people. Since then, efforts have been made to try and make the road safer.
The day the 18-wheeler exploded is one that will never be forgotten by Hanna Conery.
“All of a sudden it’s immediate fire from the impact. You couldn’t see anything, it was immediate fire,” said Conery.
Conery snapped these pictures in the chaos, all the while trying to help people in trouble.
“You wanna help but at that point it was just like you see people running for their lives across the street and into the highway,” Conery added.
The 18-wheeler came speeding out of control down the mountain into Lakewood and crashed into backed up cars. The driver from Texas claims the brakes failed.
In an effort to prevent similar incidents, the Colorado Department of Transportation distributed an educational video called “The Mountain Rules” to truck drivers across the country.
“It was educational to let truckers know in advance what they could anticipate and if they did come across certain hazards how to handle those hazards,” CDOT spokesman Bob Wilson said.
Trucking company records are also more aggressively checked by the Colorado State Patrol. And each trooper is now required to stop at least 32 semis a year and inspect them.
Professional truck driving instructors like Jason Emery have a lot of questions.
“I think first off does the driver have any experience whatsoever in the mountains? But more importantly was an annual inspection current on both tractor and trailer?” Excel driver/owner Jason Emery said.
Emery says the crash never should have happened,.
The trial of the driver is expected to start in late September.