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Authorities believe speed, brakes had roles in fatal crash

Brakes were unable to handle weight of the truck, Colorado State Patrol says
A Durango man died Monday after crashing on Colorado Highway 141, just south of Slick Rock.

Investigators believe excessive speed led to a fatal crash that killed a 37-year-old Durango man earlier this week.

Colorado State Patrol Master Trooper Gary Cutler said Lance Luedtke was driving an International semitrailer, hauling a water tank, and heading north on Colorado Highway 141 on Monday.

Around 2 p.m., near mile post 19, just south of Slick Rock where the highway starts a steep descent to the Dolores River, Luedtke failed to navigate a right-hand curve and went off the highway. The truck rolled onto its side and hit a big rock that collapsed the cab of the truck, Cutler said.

Luedtke, who was wearing a seat belt, died at the scene.

Cutler said investigators believe Luedtke was driving too fast, and when he pressed the brakes for the turn, the brakes couldn’t handle the weight.

Alcohol and drugs are not suspected factors in the crash. Luedtke was the sole occupant of the truck, and no one else was injured in the incident.

The investigation was continuing.

The highway was closed for several hours in both directions after the crash and reopened about 9:15 p.m. Monday.

jromeo@durangoherald.com

Sep 20, 2021
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