Colorado National Monument park rangers pulled a vehicle out of the east hill of the Monument on Tuesday.
The driver, a 30-year-old man, was the only occupant of the vehicle and died in the crash, Monument officials confirmed.
A hiker first saw the crashed vehicle at about 11:45 a.m. on Monday and notified park rangers immediately.
Park rangers were able to get to the wreckage on foot, Colorado National Monument spokesperson Arlene Jackson said.
She said the speed limit during the stretch where the vehicle went over is 25 miles per hour. A preliminary investigation indicates that the crash may have occurred Sunday night and that speed was a factor.
“There are still some icy spots on the road as a whole. Most are in the shaded area,” Jackson explained. “The area where the car went off was in the sun but we are still recommending to go slowly in the shaded sections.”
A tow truck was used to pull out the wrecked vehicle on Tuesday.
“We weren’t able to use a helicopter to pull the car up so we used a tow truck and pulled it back up in a way that creates as little damage to the environment as possible,” Jackson explained.
She said that it appeared the vehicle tumbled on its way down but would not say how far the drop was.
“The evidence suggests that the victim was going too fast,” Jackson said.
“We recommend everyone follow the speed limit and with the current weather conditions to be prudent in their driving. Our hearts and prayers go out to the family.”
In her five years with the Colorado National Monument, Jackson has been a part of three operations to remove fallen vehicles.
In October, 2019, 21-year-old David Russell died when his vehicle went over the edge of Rim Rock Drive, falling more than 400 feet.
The car was not retrieved until several months later.