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Charter bus plunges off Colorado 145 near Ophir

This commercial charter bus slid off the highway and crashed 150 feet down an embankment near Ophir Oct. 27. There were no injuries. (Courtesy Travis Randolph, Colorado State Patrol Hazardous Materials Technician)
Highway will be closed Monday for recovery; there were no passengers or injuries

Travelers will encounter significant closures Monday on Colorado Highway 145 near Ophir as crews remove a commercial charter bus that crashed 150 feet off the highway.

Starting at 9 a.m., the highway will be closed in both directions near mile marker 63, Colorado Department of Transportation said in a news release.

Northbound and southbound motorists will encounter full stops and lengthy delays for much of the day for heavy-duty towing equipment and recovery operations. Each closure could last several hours.

Crews will try to let traffic pass when possible, CDOT said.

Tow truck operators will pull the bus 150 feet up a steep embankment to the highway, said Sgt. Nathan Lyons of the Colorado State Patrol.

About 9:40 a.m. Oct. 27, the bus slid off the west side of the highway near a hairpin turn and plunged 150 feet down a the snowy embankment. It stopped upright and facing uphill in a stand of trees. The direction it traveled before the crash was not available.

The bus had no passengers, and the driver was uninjured, said Master Trooper Gary Cutler.

A commercial charter bus from Arizona plunged 150 off Colorado Highway 145 Oct. 27 near Ophir. (Courtesy Travis Randolph, Colorado State Patrol hazardous materials technician)

The bus was registered in Nogales, Arizona, and the 54-year old male driver was from Mexico. He was issued a citation, but details were not available, Cutler said. Drugs and alcohol were not involved.

Two other vehicle crashes occurred nearby about the same time, also in snowy conditions. A two-vehicle crash occurred at mile marker 65, and a single-vehicle crash took place at mile marker 70, Cutler said.

CDOT encourages driver to check conditions before traveling. Resources include:

  • Road conditions and travel information: www.COtrip.org.
  • Travel alerts: bit.ly/COalerts.
  • Colorado Avalanche Information Center: www.avalanche.state.co.us.
  • Social media: Twitter @coloradodot and Facebook facebook.com/coloradodot.