Montrose man dead after out-of-control car fails to clear river

A Montrose man was killed over the weekend when his car went out of control at high speed and launched over the Uncompahgre River, nearly clearing the waterway before crashing into the embankment, authorities said.

Jorge Valencia-Masqueda, 28, was pronounced dead at the scene of a crash around 2 a.m. Saturday. The wreck was reported to police after a passerby saw hubcaps on the West Main bridge, stopped and then saw a 2007 Toyota Camry down an embankment on the east side of the river, according to Montrose Police Cmdr. Gene Lillard.

The crash remains under investigation, Lillard said.

Lillard said police believe the Camry was headed east, descending Spring Creek Mesa at a high rate of speed, and couldn’t negotiate a curve in the roadway at the intersection of Chipeta and West Main. The car hit a wood power pole near the West Main bridge — shearing it off at ground level — and slammed through a steel sign before going airborne across the river, he said. It rolled onto its top after slamming into an embankment on the east side of the river.

The car was airborne more than 100 feet before crashing, Lillard said. Investigators haven’t determined how fast the car was moving.

A toxicology test has been ordered, although Lillard said there weren’t any obvious signs that alcohol or drug impairment factored in the crash.


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