The Animas River is not new to spills, this time it was filled with some purple, yellow and red objects as onions spilled their way into a tributary of the 126-mile-long river which feeds into the Colorado River.
Onions have poured off of Coal Bank Pass twice this fall. Improbably two semi-trucks carrying the vegetables went of the side of U.S. Highway 550 about six months apart on nearly the same part of the road.
According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, on Oct. 22 a truck went off at milepost 54, about six miles north of Purgatory Ski Area. On Dec. 7, a second semi went off the road at milepost 51, two miles north of Purgatory. The stretch of road is about halfway between Silverton to the north and Durango in the south and makes up the scenic San Juan Skyway.
Colorado State Patrol did not provide any details about the drivers. Peeling it back, even authorities found a bit of humor in the coincidence.
Jeff Cricco, an eyewitness to the second wreck said, locals have been grabbing 50-pound bags of onions out of Cascade Creek.
“Ironically the brand of the spilled onions were Coal Creek, on Coal Bank Pass,” Cricco said.
Officials say the road reopened promptly both times after the pungent veggies fell. Cricco did note there were some fluids from the trucks that ended up in the water.
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