Aztec man in critical condition after U.S. Highway 550 crash

An Aztec man was in critical condition in a Denver-area hospital Wednesday after crashing his Jeep on Tuesday night on U.S. Highway 550, south of Farmington Hill.

The accident occurred about 9 p.m., about seven miles north of the Colorado-New Mexico line.

John Evans, 43, was driving a red Jeep CJ7 southbound when he attempted to pass another vehicle, said Brandi Walts, an administrator with the Durango office of the Colorado State Patrol.

Evans went off the left side of the road, overcorrected and went off the right side of the road where he rolled twice and collided with a tree, she said.

Evans was ejected during the crash.

The Jeep was old enough that it had a lap belt but no shoulder belt, she said. Evans was wearing the lap belt.

The Jeep had a canopy top.

Alcohol and drugs are not suspected factors.

The vehicle Evans was attempting to pass was going about the speed limit, which means Evans was probably traveling slightly over the limit, Walts said. But no speed analysis was done.

Evans was taken to Mercy Regional Medical Center before being flown to St. Anthony Hospital in Lakewood.

Both lanes of U.S. Highway 550 were closed near the scene of the accident from about 9 to 9:40 p.m. and again from 10 to 10:50 p.m. while a tow truck removed the Jeep.

shane@durangoherald.com

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