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Head-on crash causes fatality south of Cortez, says state patrol

Crash happened Sunday on U.S. 491

A person was reportedly killed Sunday evening in a head-on collision on U.S. Highway 491 involving a semitrailer and a passenger vehicle, according to the Colorado State Patrol.

The crash occurred at mile marker four on the Ute Mountain Ute Reservation near the Colorado-New Mexico border, said Trooper Josh Lewis.

He said the Bureau of Indian Affairs was the lead investigator, and the state patrol assisted.

“It was reported to us as a fatality,” Lewis said.

No additional information about the crash was available from the state patrol.

The cause of the crash and identification of the deceased were not immediately available.

Montezuma County Coroner George Deavers said the death had not been reported to his office. He said if the person was transported to New Mexico, the death would be under New Mexico jurisdiction.

Multiple emergency agencies responded to the scene, including Cortez Fire Protection District, Ute Mountain Ute Fire Department, Colorado State Patrol, Shiprock Fire Department and CDOT.

Cortez fire crew responded and plugged a leaking diesel fuel tank from the semitrailer, said Chief Jay Balfour.

One person was transported to Northern Navajo Medical Center with injuries, he said.