Southwest Colorado CDOT Employee Loses His Life

February 12, 2018 - Southwestern Colorado/CDOT Region 5


STATEWIDE – The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) announces with great sadness the passing of long-time employee Nolan Olson. Mr. Olson died yesterday, Sunday, February 11, from injuries sustained after being struck by a passing vehicle while working on a southwest Colorado highway.    

The crash incident occurred on Friday, February 2, when Mr. Olson, a member of the Pagosa Springs maintenance patrol, was filling potholes on US Highway 160 in Pagosa Springs. Mr. Olson was severely injured and transported to St. Anthony’s Hospital in Lakewood where he received treatment for nine days.

A resident of Pagosa Springs, Mr. Olson was an equipment operator with CDOT for 14 years. His co-workers and supervisors have expressed that Mr. Olson’s death is a tremendous loss to the organization.   

“Nolan possessed a wealth of knowledge about CDOT, was a true role model to his co-workers and was diligent in his work,” said Billy McDermott, the CDOT maintenance supervisor who manages the Pagosa Springs patrol. “Nolan faced every day with a great and positive attitude. Every member of his patrol looked up to him. Nolan gave guidance for work tasks and was able to share the history of the patrol, CDOT and Pagosa area whenever asked.”  

McDermott added that Mr. Olson was an accomplished equipment operator and was always willing to find a more efficient way of doing things or trying to save the organization and taxpayer money.

“We lost an incredible team member in Nolan. He was the type of person who would not have wanted his loss to have gone without shining a spotlight on the risks that our crews take every day when they go out on the roads to serve the public,” added Michael Lewis, Executive Director of CDOT. “Not only do I want the public to understand the type of man that Nolan was, I also want the public to know and understand the care needed when driving on our highways. A driver's undivided attention to the road will ensure we are able to come home to our families.”

Fellow CDOT employees, families and friends created a Go Fund Me website to help provide financial support to Mr. Olson’s family. To contribute to the fund, visit:

Details about Mr. Olson’s memorial services have yet to be announced by the family.  

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