NEWS

ADDITIONAL CREWS LOOKING FOR MISSING CLIMBER 

Aspen—The search for the New Mexico man who’s been missing in the Maroon Bells Wilderness area for over a week has intensified.  Search teams from around the state have been called in to help find 49 year old David Cook of Albuquerque.  The former Marine set out nine days ago to climb some local 14ers including Pyramid Peak and the Maroon Bells.  He was reported missing September 20th.  This morning, about 20 additional rescuers were flown into the Bells area by helicopter, trying to take advantage of clear, warmer weather.  Snow and high winds thwarted rescue attempts last Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  Cook has extensive back country experience but no one knows if he was equipped or prepared for an extended adventure.

TOUGHER LAWS NO DETERRENT FOR TRUCKERS ON INDY PASS

Aspen—Unfazed and undeterred by tougher laws and higher fines, stubborn truckers continue to try to tackle the windy, narrow, switchback-filled road known as Independence Pass.  According to reports from C-DOT and the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office, several trucks longer than the maximum 35 feet have gotten stuck on the pass or been forced to turn around in the past few months.  On one day alone in July, deputies had to turn away over 20 semi-trucks trying to climb the pass between Aspen and Leadville.  C-DOT and Pitkin County are considering spending up to a half million dollars to tackle the problem.  Officials are looking into technology that would identify large vehicles and activate a sign telling them to turn around.  The county may also pay for a roundabout to route truck drivers back toward Aspen.

CRASH, CRUDE OIL  SPILL SHUT DOWN RIFLE BYPASS

Rifle—The Highway 13 bypass west of Rifle was closed for about six hours yesterday after a crash between a small car and a tanker truck that led to the spill of some 4,000 gallons of crude oil.  According to reports from the Colorado State Patrol, the crash occurred around 6 o’clock Tuesday morning when the driver of a Saturn sedan was heading south on 13 when it veered into the northbound lanes and the oncoming tanker.  Troopers say during the side-by-side collision, the tanker ran over the rear passenger side of the car before jack knifing, hitting the guardrail and tipping on it’s side.   No one was hurt seriously enough to require medical attention but the crude oil spill did force the CSP to shut down the Rifle bypass for the rest of the morning. Now, troopers would like to talk to the driver of the sedan but he walked away from the scene and hasn’t been heard from since.

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