It took more than five hours for northbound Interstate 25 at 58th Avenue to reopen completely after a fiery, fatal crash on Thursday that killed one and left another with severe burns.
Around 10 a.m., a dump truck and an SUV were driving side by side and somehow collided, according to Sonny Jackson with the Denver Police Department.
There were four people in the SUV, one of which was killed. Three were transported to the hospital, and one is still in critical condition with severe burns.
“We do know that the two vehicles collided, and the vehicles moved to the right across the shoulder,” said Sgt. Mike Farr, Denver police traffic investigator.
Jackson says the SUV went over the barrier and caught fire, which spread to the dump truck.
“The fire did consume the jeep,” said Farr.
Traffic caused by this wreck lasted for hours after it initially happened.
Truck fire cleanup operation remains NB I-25 S of 58 Ave blocking center & right lanes;Expect delays;alt rte advised— CDOT (@ColoradoDOT) May 25, 2017
Businesses closed and traffic moved sluggishly as investigators worked to determine just what happened.
“The speed limit here is 55 and a collision here at 55 mph is going to carry a lot of energy,” said Farr.
Fire and smoke is what Michael Coleman, who lives nearby, said he saw following the deadly crash.
“I heard a boom, and when I heard the boom I ran up front, and when I ran up front that's when I looked and see the burning inferno going on,” Coleman said.
He said he could see the flames shooting as high as the trees in the area.
“You couldn't even tell there was two cars involved,” Coleman said.
Coleman said he is surprised anyone survived.
“You just don't explain nothing like that, as bad as that fire was going," Coleman said.
Coleman said living so close to the highway, this is sadly something he sees too often.
“This highway is the Bermuda triangle here, and it's getting worse,” said Coleman.
The cause of the crash is still under investigation, and police still have not released the names of the victims.