Injured Nucla man found after 11 hours in wrecked vehicle

An injured Nucla man was found Thursday in his Jeep Cherokee after spending the night in the vehicle at temperatures near 15 degrees. He had driven off an embankment 11 hours earlier.

The Colorado State Patrol reported a blue 1986 Jeep Cherokee had slid 60 feet after colliding with a guardrail at approximately 10 p.m. Wednesday.

The vehicle went off the left side of the roadway, down a dirt embankment on Colorado Highway 141 near mile marker 126 and came to rest on its wheels in an area that was dry and unlit, the State Patrol said.

Passerby John Bonner of Grand Junction was completing his deliveries at 9 a.m. Thursday for Jim Dible Oil Co. when he saw the debris, discovered the Jeep and heard calls for help. Bonner waived to a passing motorist, who was able to make a telephone call for help, the State Patrol said.

Jerome Burke, 56, of Nucla, was inside the vehicle with possible serious injuries to his abdominal area, the State Patrol said. Burke was first taken to St. Mary’s Hospital, then airlifted to a Denver area hospital for further treatment.

Troopers found contraband in the vehicle, and Burke was issued a summons on suspicion of careless driving, possessing less than one ounce of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

The sobriety of the driver is under investigation.

The Gateway Fire District also responded to the report.


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