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Driver fatigue believed to be main factor in weekend crash that closed I-25 for more than 36 hours

Interstate 25 was closed in both directions between Colorado 402 and U.S. 34 as CDOT worked to clean up the spill and repair the pavement.

LOVELAND, Colo. — Interstate 25 is back open in the Loveland area Sunday afternoon after a fuel spill early Saturday, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). 

The northbound and southbound lanes of I-25 between Colorado 402 (Exit 255) and U.S. 34 (Exit 257) were closed for more than 36 hours. 

CDOT and fire crews cleaned up about 11,500-11,700 gallons of diesel fuel that spilled when a fuel tanker crashed, CDOT said. Frontage roads were also affected by the spill.

A CDOT spokesperson said at 11 a.m. Sunday that the agency was working to get the southbound lanes back open. The northbound lanes were more work: the spilled fuel had soaked into the road's substructure, which would require scraping the roadway and repaving, he said.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said it was helping with the cleanup, given the spill's size. Air-monitoring equipment was being used because of the proximity to residential areas adjacent to the interstate.

The EPA said the diesel spilled into a drainage ditch but did not enter the Big Thompson River.

The fuel tanker crashed about 1:12 a.m. Saturday and became fully engulfed in flames. Crews extricated the driver, John Brothersen, who suffered minor injuries, according to LFRA. 

The Colorado State Patrol (CSP) cited Brothersen for careless driving. CSP said that while the crash investigation is still ongoing, driver fatigue was being considered the main factor in the crash.

>> View Loveland 1-25 oil spill photos from EPA

CDOT and about 35 firefighters from LFRA and Front Range Fire were on scene at the crash at about 6 a.m. Saturday and notified the EPA at 2:30 p.m. 

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