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Driver Killed When Truck Veers Off Highway, Plows Through Building

By Lauren DiSpirito

WELLINGTON, Colo. (CBS4) - A 51-year-old man was killed Thursday when the semi truck he was driving veered off the highway and into a row of detached garages near townhouses in Wellington.

Colorado State Patrol says Donald Butterfield, of South Dakota, was driving on Interstate 25 north of Fort Collins at approximately 4:30 a.m. when his truck left the highway and crossed a frontage road, before crashing.

donald butterfield
Donald Butterfield (credit: Facebook)

The truck was hauling cement and came to a rest amid a large amount of debris. Butterfield was killed.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation, said CSP Trooper Josh Lewis.

Neighbor Jamie Burt lives in the Crittenton Lane community where the crash occurred. Burt heard the collision through her bedroom window. She called 9-1-1 as her boyfriend and another man rushed over to the truck and tried to rescue the driver.

truck off highway into bldg
(credit: CBS)

"I thought it was an explosion to be honest," Burt said, "They couldn't see any part of the driver, except for his legs, but they couldn't get him out."

The crash left a devastating scene with neighbors shaken. The semi-truck came within feet of homes but stopped before damaging any residences.

Linda Hersh, who lives down the street from the crash scene, said the garages Butterfield struck were mostly empty.

truck into bldg
(credit: CBS)

"It's scary to think that that could happen," Hersch said, "and those people right next door, you know, it could have gotten their unit."

Both Hersch and Burt say their thoughts are with the driver's family. According to posts online, Butterfield, who operated a transportation company, went by 'Donny.'

"It was a horrible, it was a sad thing," Hersch said. "My condolences go out to the family of this driver."

Butterfield's dog was riding with him when the crash occurred. According to the Larimer Humane Society, the dog was unharmed and taken to the shelter, where staff are trying to reunite the dog with Butterfield's family.

Lauren DiSpirito is CBS4's Northern Newsroom reporter. Follow her on Twitter @CBS4Lauren. Share your story ideas with her here.

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