The surviving occupants of the vehicle that crashed head-on with a semi-truck in the Glenwood Canyon on Wednesday have been identified, except for the driver who was pronounced dead at the scene.
Ronald R. Hart, 53; Lisa M. Hart, 25, both of Aurora; and Zayden Pecosky, 4, of Westminster, were pulled from the burning Mazda by witnesses. They were transported to Vail Valley Medical Center. Their current conditions are unknown. The name of the driver of the Mazda is still being withheld until a positive identification is made.
The investigation is ongoing, however, driver fatigue has been determined as the possible cause of the crash. Impairment by prescribed medication is considered a factor, but toxicology reports from the coroner have not been completed.
The driver of the 2006 Freightliner carrying beer has been identified as Daniel Robertson, 54, of Las Vegas. Robertson escaped the burning truck without injury.
At about 4:30 a.m., the Colorado State Patrol responded to a crash involving a tractor trailer and a 2012 Mazda sedan. The crash occurred on Interstate 70, 11 miles east of Glenwood Springs in a construction zone that consists of two-way traffic in the westbound lanes with a speed limit posted at 40 mph.
Robertson was traveling westbound and had just exited a tunnel. The Mazda was traveling eastbound when it abruptly moved from the eastbound lane to the westbound lane and collided head on with the tractor trailer.
As a result, both vehicles became engulfed in flames. After the impact, the Mazda rotated counter clockwise at least once and came to rest in the westbound lane, facing east. The tractor trailer continued westbound and collided with the cement highway barrier off the south side of the roadway. The tractor trailer came to rest in the eastbound lane, facing west. One saddle tank was broken off the semi and the other was punctured open, spilling approximately 100 gallons of diesel fuel onto the roadway.
I-70 was closed in both directions during the investigation and cleanup. The interstate reopened shortly after 1 p.m.
A new decision has been made on the Elbram Stone Co., LLC White Banks Mine that allows mining activity there for the next two decades, the White River National Forest announced on Friday.
The White Banks claims are located in the Avalanche Creek drainage within the Aspen-Sopris Ranger District on the White River National Forest (WRNF). The new decision is being made based on the analysis within the September 2011 Environmental Assessment.
Elbram Stone Company, LLC submitted a proposed plan of operations for development of minerals within the White Banks claims in October 2010. The Aspen-Sopris Ranger District accepted the proposal for review and approval through the environmental analysis process. In 1995, the WRNF approved the original plan of operations for mining alabaster. Under the 1995 plan of operations, mining activities were authorized from May 1 to Nov. 30 each year. The original plan expired on April 30, 2010. Extensions to the expired plan were granted to Elbram Stone Co. to allow the Forest Service an opportunity to complete the environmental review and analysis on the October 2010 plan of operations, according to a press release issued by the Forest Service.
The proposed plan of operations for the mine includes the continued mining of alabaster and the initiation of marble mining within the White Banks claims over the next 20 years. The plan includes surface use for mining activities. That includes providing site and portal access; maintaining a cabin, bath house and fencing; constructing new a log structure, bypass road, parking area, storage areas, water well and secondary escape way; mobilizing new facilities like a mobile trailer for a security office and a commercial self-contained vault toilet, and mining related operational needs.
The WRNF completed an Environmental Assessment to analyze the proposal, alternatives and potential impacts. On March 2, 2012, the Aspen-Sopris District signed a decision notice for development that included criteria under which locatable minerals within the White Banks valid claims could be mined under the 1872 mining law.
Two appeals were filed on the decision, one of which was by the Pitkin County Board of County Commissioners. The appeal reviewing officer found no violation of law, policy, or regulation, and denied Pitkin County’s requested relief to further restrict mining activity in the winter.
The other appeal was filed by Elbram Stone Co. The appeal reviewing officer directed the Forest Service to withdraw the March 2012 decision and what’s known as a “Finding of No Significant Impact.” This was based on the need to provide adequate documentation in the record about the impact of mining operations on bighorn sheep in order to support the requirements in the decision. Those requirements included requiring Elbram Stone Co., LLC, to participate financially in a monitoring program for bighorn sheep.
A review of the Environmental Assessment was conducted and clarification within this decision was made to address additional issues identified by the appeal reviewing officer.
To address the instructions of the appeal reviewing officer, the decision on the White Banks mine plan of operation was withdrawn. This decision responds directly to the issues presented by the appeal reviewing officer. Specifically, this decision:
• Drops the requirement for Elbram Stone Co., LLC, to participate financially in a monitoring program for bighorn sheep.
• Takes into consideration a surface use determination report for the White Banks Mine.
• Broadens the level of surface use (particularly allowing for winter operations).
• Clearly articulates to Elbram Stone Co., LLC, a phased approach to their proposal as outlined in and consistent with their proposed plan of operations.