Two semitrailers crashed within an hour of each other Tuesday morning on Wolf Creek Pass, including one carrying a load of potatoes that spilled onto the highway. The first crash occurred about 7:25 a.m. near a hairpin turn on the west side of the pass, said Capt. Adrian Driscoll with the Colorado State Patrol in Durango.
The driver, Juan Perez of Miami, Florida, was heading west down the pass when he crashed.
Perez was taken to Pagosa Springs Medical Center with serious injuries. He was cited with careless driving, no proof of insurance and a truck-driving violation.
The road was closed for about 30 minutes while crews moved the wreckage and cleaned the potatoes, which was "fairly easy," Driscoll said.
The second crash occurred about 8:25 a.m. near mile marker 163, about 2½ miles east of the earlier crash.
The driver, Howard Dial of DeBerry, Texas, received minor injuries and was also taken to Pagosa Springs Medical Center.
He was cited with careless driving, Driscoll said.
Traffic was not heavily impacted as a result of the second crash, Driscoll said.
Both crashes were the result of drivers over-using their brakes, he said.
"Both heated their brakes up and couldn't stop," Driscoll said.
"So we're encouraging truckers to take it easy over the pass, keep it in low gear and go really slow."