FIRESTONE — A 31-year-old Longmont man died on Colo. Highway 66 in Weld County when his blue Chevy pickup swerved into an oncoming semitrailer around noon Tuesday, according to the Colorado State Patrol.
Trooper Don Moseman said the man, whose name is being withheld until relatives are notified, likely died instantly. He was not wearing a seat belt, according to the accident report.
Loveland resident Sean Wojahn saw the crash as he was driving west behind the tractor-trailer on Colo. 66 near Weld County Road 13. He said the pickup crossed the center line before slamming head-on into the semitrailer.
Wojahn pulled to the side of the road after the accident and found the Chevy nearly demolished in a ditch on the northeast corner of Colo. 66 and WCR 13.
He said he saw the driver of the tractor-trailer moving and that he appeared to be OK, so he tried to climb into the Chevy.
“Everything was twisted,” Wojahn said.
“It was obvious he was hurt really, really bad at the least.”
The crumpled Chevy pinned the man in the wreckage.
He was not moving and Wojahn said he couldn’t do anything to help.
No one else was in the vehicle.
“I called 911 and I told them I thought he was dead,” Wojahn said.
Moseman said the accident occurred when the driver of the pickup drifted from the eastbound lane toward the ditch on the south side of the road for unknown reasons, then overcorrected the vehicle straight into the oncoming tractor-trailer.
Wojahn said drivers behind the pickup, who also stopped to help, told him the man appeared to lean down to pick something up, then looked up to see he was driving off the road and overcorrected into the tractor-trailer.
The driver of the tractor-trailer, owned by National Byproducts, had just dropped off a load of animal fat byproducts in Platteville and was returning to Denver, troopers said.
He was unhurt but rattled by the accident, troopers said.
“I’m surprised that he was just shook up,” said Jim Irwin, a representative of National Byproducts, came to the scene to check on his driver, 66-year-old Eugene Damian of Denver.
Parts of the Chevy and personal items were scattered on the road and in the ditch, including a fishing pole and a sleeping bag.
Firefighters from Mountain View Fire Protection District had to use extrication tools to free the body from the Chevy.
Dirt blown by high winds muddled visibility on Colo. 66 and surrounding county roads Tuesday, but Moseman said that didn’t appear to be a factor in the accident.
Colo. 66 was closed for about three hours following the accident.
Douglas Crowl can be reached at 303-684-5253, or by e-mail at email@example.com.