BAILEY, Colo. — Some experienced truck drivers say the Interstate 70 corridor through the Rocky Mountains into the Denver area is one of the most challenging stretches of highway in the country.
Larry Allen Jr. says one of the reasons he decided to become a trucker was the ability to travel the country and enjoy all of Colorado’s views.
“It’s spectacular,” Allen said. “Every day, it still gets my attention.”
But despite the views, Allen says driving through the Rockies is far from a picnic.
“If you get complacent or your equipment is not where it’s supposed to be, you can get yourself in a lot of trouble,” Allen said.
Allen says the I-70 corridor is dangerous because of the hills, bends and unpredictable weather.
He says focusing on downshifting, instead of riding the brakes, makes a big difference when going downhill for stretches that can last miles.
“When you let out on the clutch and it goes back into gear, it’s going to slow you down as you go down already,” Allen said.
After Thursday’s fatal fire and crash in which a semitrailer barreled through rush-hour traffic on I-70 in Lakewood, leaving four people dead and more injured, there’s a focus in the trucker community on training and awareness.
A video appears to show the semi’s driver going right past a runaway ramp, which concerns Allen and other truckers, who say if the driver lost his brakes, that ramp could have prevented the wreck.