Trooper: Collapse of 'false shoulder' of snow led to trucker's plunge

By Greg Grisolano, Land Line staff writer | Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A trucker who slid down an embankment on Loveland Pass in Colorado last week was parked on what law enforcement are calling a “false shoulder” of snow that gave way underneath the weight of his rig.

The 31-year-old truck driver, a car hauler named Jason Munsee, suffered moderate injuries after his rig slid more than 200 feet down the side of the pass, colliding with several trees on the way down, according to Colorado State Police Capt. Brett Mattson.

Munsee was traveling on Highway 6 through the pass when he pulled over to the shoulder to allow snowplows to pass.

“He had parked on what he thought was a hard shoulder of the road,” Mattson said in a phone interview with Land Line Now. “But apparently the wind was blowing pretty good at the time and created a false shoulder with snow, so to speak. As he sat there basically waiting for snow plows to pass, that shoulder gave way and he slid about 220 feet down the side of the mountain.”

Mattson said Munsee eventually made his way through the snow and back up to the road, where he reportedly flagged down another trucker for assistance.

Highway 6 at Loveland Pass was closed for approximately 24 hours while Munsee’s rig was towed back to the road.

Mattson said accidents like this one typically happen “less than once a year.”

Land Line Now news anchor Reed Black contributed to this report.

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