Third semi overturns on Wolf Creek Pass

For the third time this week, a semitrailer overturned on Wolf Creek Pass, near the hairpin turn at the overlook.

Colorado State Patrol Sgt. Blake White said the semi overturned on the notorious section of U.S. Highway 160 at 3:50 a.m. Friday. As of 9 a.m., he said crews are working to clean up the crash site, though traffic is not seriously impacted.

White said crews are determining the best way to do the clean-up and whether to unload the truck’s haul of soft drinks.

The driver, George Sanchez, 50, of Texas, suffered minor injuries but did not require medical transport. A passenger in the semi also had minor injuries but did not need to be taken to the hospital.

White said he was unsure if Sanchez was cited with any charges as a result of the crash but said unless it was a mechanical failure, he will likely be ticketed with careless driving.

White was also unsure where the truck was traveling from and to, but he said it was hauling soft drinks.

This crash marks the third overturned semi on this particular section of Wolf Creek Pass this week.

On Tuesday, two semitrailers crashed within an hour of each other. One driver, Juan Perez, of Miami, Florida, was taken to Pagosa Springs Medical Center with serious injuries after his semi overturned around 7:30 a.m. Calls to the hospital seeking a condition update were not immediately returned Friday morning.

In the other crash, which occurred about an hour later, Howard Dial of DeBerry, Texas, received minor injuries and was also taken to the hospital.

Both drivers were cited with careless driving.

The southbound descent from the summit of Wolf Creek Pass, toward Pagosa Springs, is a commonplace where semis run into trouble, earning it the moniker “Beware the Wolf.”

The Colorado Department of Transportation in recent years has increased the number of signs on the road, warning truckers to shift down to lower gears for the descent. CDOT has also worked to make improvements on the road.