Twenty-one people, including one person with a heart condition, were rescued Friday night from a Greyhound Bus that got stuck on a Garfield County mountain road, of dirt and gravel base, usually traveled by four-wheel drives and all-terrain vehicles.
Just after 6 p.m., the sheriff’s office was notified about the stranded bus, which had a cracked oil pan, and was stuck about 22 miles up Coffee Pot Springs Road, according to a sheriff’s office news release.
The sheriff’s office quickly rescued the person with the heart condition, giving her a ride off the mountain road, which has access to the White River National Forest wilderness area. The sheriff’s office, assisted by Garfield County Search and Rescue members, used two transport vans to bring the remaining passengers down the mountain.
A hole was torn in the bottom of the bus oil pan, which then leaked onto the road. A hazardous materials crew contained and cleaned up the spill. The rescue caravan reached Eagle County, and back to I-70, shortly after midnight.
The Coffee Pot Springs Road is not an alternative route around Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon, which continues to be closed because of massive and destructive mud, rock and debris slides in the Grizzly Creek fire burn scar area.
The incident was a catastrophe avoided, the sheriff’s office said. Drivers and travelers are urged to not use GPS mapping in attempts to circumvent the I-70 closure.
“Backcountry roads are unpredictable and can be treacherous or deadly for the unprepared traveler,” the sheriff’s office said.
Drivers should use the detour posted by the Colorado Department of Transportation, which sends travelers through Steamboat Springs and Kremmling using U.S. 40 and Colorado 13. The CDOT detour is on well-traveled and paved roadways with multiple towns and rest areas along the route.
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