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Colorado Highway 145 reopens after bus-semitrailer crash

Nine people taken by van to Grand Junction

Colorado Highway 145 fully reopened to traffic shortly before 2 p.m. Wednesday after a crash between a bus and semitrailer around 9:30 a.m. closed the highway.

Nine people on board the bus, including the bus operator, were transported to Telluride Medical Center for medical evaluation. No one sustained life-threatening injuries, according to a news release issued by Lisa Schwantes, spokeswoman with the Colorado Department of Transportation.

All passengers were set to be transported by van to Grand Junction.

By about 1:35 p.m., all crashed vehicles, debris and hazardous materials had been cleared from the highway. The bus was towed to the town of Telluride. The truck was towed safely off the highway to the parking area off the scenic lookout located along Highway 145 near the crash scene. The truck will be moved at a later time.

The highway was fully closed for about 2½ hours before one lane was cleared for alternating north and south traffic.

According to the San Miguel Sheriff’s Office, the crash involved a bus and a semitrailer at mile marker 65, near the Alta Lakes turnoff.

Fuel leakage caused a hazardous materials response.

CDOT confirmed the bus involved in the crash was the Bustang Outrider, a commercial passenger carrier that has a daily round trip route from Durango to Grand Junction. Bustang has stops in Mancos, Cortez and Dolores. It is operated by Road Runner Stage Lines, based in Ignacio.

A Road Runner official confirmed that a van was dispatched to pick up stranded passengers. Also, the bus route to Grand Junction was canceled for the day.

Because of a spring snowstorm causing hazardous road conditions, CDOT travel restrictions were put in place at 9:20 a.m. for the section of highway where the crash occurred, and they were lifted at 12:48 p.m. The restrictions required chains for all commercial vehicles and four-wheel drive or snow tires for passenger vehicles.

San Miguel Sheriff’s Office deputies, Telluride Fire/EMS, Colorado State Patrol and CDOT responded to the scene.

jmimiaga@the-journal.com

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