OURAY – The Ouray County Emergency Medical Services, as well as sheriff’s deputies and Ouray police officers, were busy with three one-vehicle accidents on consecutive evenings north of Ouray late last week.
The second of the three turned out to be the most dramatic, as the driver of a Ford Explorer fled the scene on foot – accompanied by his fleet-footed pooch – after crashing around 8 p.m. Friday in the straightaway just south of mile marker 97 and north of Dexter Creek on US Hwy. 550.
It is unclear why the driver fled the scene.
When the page went out for OCEMS to respond, dispatch advised authorities the driver was last seen “running westbound toward the [Uncompahgre] river.”
Ouray police officer Tony Schmidt responded and parked his patrol unit at the scene and then continued to search for the driver, whom he found approximately 500 yards south of the accident in thick brush. The driver was taken into custody without further incident. Schmidt, along with Sheriff’s Deputy Gary Foechterle escorted the unidentified and handcuffed driver to the awaiting Ouray Ambulance. He was transported to
According to the Colorado State Trooper investigating the scene, the vehicle was traveling southbound when the driver lost control, went off the right side of the highway for 185 feet before coming back onto the road, crossed the northbound lane and struck the east-side hill, catapulting the vehicle in the air and onto its passenger side, facing south along the northbound lane.
Also responding to the scene were Sheriff Dominic “Junior” Mattivi, as well as OCEMS Chief Medic Norm Rooker.
The cause of the accident remains under investigation by CSP.
Rooker, as well as Sheriff’s Deputy Keith Sanders and a CSP Trooper responded to a one-vehicle rollover at approximately on Thursday, June 7 at mile marker 98 near the Elk Run Ranch on Hwy. 550. A northbound Jeep Cherokee, carrying a male driver and female passenger, lost control and rolled off the east side of the road. The vehicle landed on its wheels approximately 30-40 feet off the highway.
The investigation is ongoing.
A third accident reportedly occurred Saturday evening, June 9, between on County Road 23; there were no injuries.