Bandelier begins removing paint truck wreckage. Courtesy/BNM
The National Park Service and a construction company began removing the wreckage materials from a vehicle accident resulting in spilled paint within Bandelier’s boundary.
Crews began work last Friday and are expected to continue into this week. At this time, staff does not anticipate a road closure during removal operations.
The accident occurred on the morning of Tuesday, Sept. 18, when a tractor-trailer rig traveling eastbound on N.M. 4 missed a sharp curve and went off the road, plunging about 200 feet down a steep slope into the monument.
The truck was carrying about 2,200 gallons of highway striping paint. Spilled paint spread over nearly an acre and is visible from roads and hiking trails in and around Bandelier.
Crews are now working with a cable and pulley system to remove the vehicle across the slope down to the road at the junction of N.M. 501 and N.M. 4.
Bandelier National Monument law enforcement staff and an archeologist are closely monitoring the removal to mitigate any potential impacts to resources.
Paint cleanup will be a separate process that will begin in the near future.