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Crash sends three to hospital

By Shane Benjamin Herald staff writer

La Plata County rescue workers used ropes and pulleys to reach the occupants of a car that drove 200 feet down a steep embankment Friday six miles south of the Colorado-New Mexico state line.

The crash was reported about 8:30 a.m. south of Colorado Highway 172, which turns into New Mexico Highway 511 at the state line.

A single four-door sedan was driving southbound on an unmarked dirt road when it went off the left side of the road and down the embankment, said Sgt. Garrett Morris, with the San Juan County (N.M.) Sheriff’s Department.

The car was occupied by two men and two women, he said.

One woman was taken by helicopter to San Juan Regional Medical Center in Farmington. A man and the other woman were taken by road to the hospital.

Their identities and conditions were unavailable Friday night.

The second man remained missing Friday night. Authorities searched the area for two hours by ground and helicopter for him without any luck, Morris said.

It is possible he fled the scene because he didn’t want to encounter law enforcement, Morris said.

“We think we have him identified, but we have to confirm that with the driver,” he said. “She’s not at a point where she can talk.”

Rescue workers with the Los Pinos Fire Protection District and the Upper Pine River Fire Protection District assisted in bringing the three victims up the steep embankment.

Morris said the cause of the accident remained under investigation.

shane@durangoherald.com

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