Fatal Semi Crash on Monarch Pass Leaves Trucker Dead

MONARCH PASS, CO – A 43-year-old truck driver died in a fatal semi crash that happened Saturday evening at approximately 9:42 p.m. near the Monarch Pass summit (11,312 ft.)

Colorado State Patrol reports that the trucker was heading eastbound on Highway 50. When he was over Monarch Pass, he “failed to negotiate a felt-hand turn near the 11,312-foot summit.” Soon after the failed attempt, the truck rolled over and fell into a steep embankment.

From the wreck, fuel spilled into the nearby South Arkansas River.

The trucker, a 43-year-old male who was unofficially identified as Juan Mario Martinez Muñoz of El Paso, Texas, was not wearing his seatbelt at the moment of the accident and was ejected from the cab. He died on the scene. 

Police excludes intoxication from drugs or alcohol as the cause of the crash. The truck was following speed limits as well. According to officials, the cause of the accident is probably brake fade.

The trucker was driving a 2010 Kenworth. Police are still investigating and are urging anyone who has any information about the crash to call the Colorado State Patrol at (719)-544-2424.

Monarch pass is a treacherous mountain pass that is located about 30 minutes outside of the mountain town Salida. It is known for the numerous cliffs that can become very dangerous during the winter.