Woman killed, man hurt in Douglas Pass crash

A New Mexico woman was killed and a man was injured Thursday when their vehicle plunged hundreds of feet down an embankment on Douglas Pass north of Grand Junction, according to the Colorado State Patrol.

The accident happened about 4:40 p.m. on Colorado Highway 139 a mile south of the summit of the pass in Garfield County, Trooper Heather Cobler said. The vehicle went off the road and rolled down the embankment. Police radio traffic reports estimated the vehicle dropped anywhere from 300 to 500 feet.

Troopers said the driver of the 2010 Dodge Journey, a 78-year-old woman from Belen, N.M., lost control while entering a right-hand curve, before skidding off the left side of the roadway. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene.

A front-seat passenger, an 86-year-old man from Belen, N.M., was taken by helicopter to St. Mary’s Hospital. His condition was not immediately known.

Troopers said the passenger was wearing a seat belt, but it wasn’t immediately clear if the driver was restrained.

The accident closed Colorado 139 in both directions for several hours Thursday night.

A Mesa County search and rescue team was called out to climb down to the accident scene, and a representative from the Mesa County Coroner’s Office responded to handle the body. Mesa County officials were asked to help because they were closer to the accident than officials in Garfield County, Cobler said.


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