Fuel tanker crash on I-70 kills one, causes lengthy delays near Morrison

Jefferson County Sheriff's Office
A fuel tanker caught fire on I-70 near Morrison, CO after being struck by another vehicle, Thursday, May 16, 2024. One person died and the truck driver was hospitalized.

Updated at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 16, 2024.

A multi-vehicle crash that killed one person near Morrison is causing lengthy delays for drivers using I-70.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s office says the interstate is closed to all eastbound traffic between the Lookout Mountain exit and Colfax Ave. as crews work to clear debris from the crash, which sent a fuel tanker up in flames.

Pictures posted to social media by drivers near the scene showed heavy plumes of black smoke rising from the tanker. Authorities say at least six other vehicles were involved in the crash. 

The entire truck was engulfed in flames at one point. Fuel that spilled into surrounding grass briefly caught fire as well. Firefighters extinguished the blaze, but hazmat crews are still working to clean up the spill.

It’s unclear what caused the collision, but the Colorado State patrol said early details indicated that the tanker pulled over because it was overheating. A car then ran into it, sparking the fire.

Authorities haven't identified the person killed in the crash. They said the tanker’s driver was sent to the hospital, but there have been no further updates on their condition.

Delays are expected to add about half an hour for drivers using this stretch of I-70. There’s no timeline for when those delays could end. The sheriff’s office said there could be impacts for the Thursday evening commute.

People are advised to use U.S. Route 285, U.S. 6 or Highway 40 if they are traveling between the Front Range and the mountains.