Tire tracks and a broken guard rail mark where a semi-truck left the roadway on N.M. 4, the road down from the Jemez Mountains to Los Alamos and Bandelier National Monument. Photo by Greg Kendall/ladailypost.com.
New Mexico State Road 4 is currently closed due to a paint truck that went off the “second hair pin” turn at mile marker 49 out of Los Alamos a short while ago today. The driver was care-flighted to a nearby hospital with unknown injuries.
His truck left the highway and landed 200-300 yards down a steep rugged cliff into Bandelier National Monument property.
The driver of the semi was able to escape the mangled wreck and crawled partially up the cliff, according to a witness at the scene.
Los Alamos Fire Department rescue crews used ropes and a pully to climb down the cliff and rescue the driver.
Hazmat crews are on the scene as a large quantity of dry yellow and white paint, used by road painting crews, was spread across a large swath of forest. A suspected gas tank leak is being investigated.
The Los Alamos Police Department is investigating the crash.
It is unknown at this time when the road will reopen.
Click HERE to link to photo gallery of crash site and rescue.
Click HERE to link to video of rescue and Care Flight landing.