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Misdirected box truck gets stuck on Ophir Pass road

Driver ticketed after blocking traffic; phone map blamed
A box truck got stuck on the Ophir Pass road after the driver relied on a phone map to get to Silverton. (Courtesy San Miguel Sheriff's Office)

A box truck got stuck on Ophir Pass on June 18 after the driver followed a map on his phone indicating it was the route to Silverton, according to the San Miguel Sheriff’s Office.

About 1 p.m., the truck became stuck on the rough four-wheel-drive road about a mile from the top of the pass on the Ophir side.

It blocked traffic in both directions, and the road was closed so it could be towed.

According to a report by Deputy Damian Nieblas, the truck driver said “a map on his phone told him to take this route from Montrose to Silverton.”

When asked why he did not turn around earlier as the road is rough from the beginning, the driver, age 27, said “he did not know it was going to get worse,” according to the report.

Westbound traffic that had come over the pass was backed up, and vehicles driving up the pass behind the truck were forced to turn around.

Telluride Towing arrived to tow the vehicle back down the pass, and the road was reopened a little after 4 p.m.

The driver was issued a summons for obstructing a highway.

Black Bear Pass incident

Two days later, San Miguel County and Telluride emergency responders were called to an off-road vehicle rollover on Black Bear Pass road about 6 p.m. Sunday.

According to a San Miguel Sheriff Office Facebook post, the 51-year-old driver told deputies he was going up the pass the wrong way and was slowly going over a large rock pile when his vehicle turned on its side on the edge of a drop-off.

A off-road vehicle overturned on the Black Bear Pass Road Sunday near a steep drop-off. The driver was uninjured and was able to self-extricate. (Courtesy San Miguel Sheriff's Office)

He then attempted to strategically place rocks around the vehicle in an effort to keep it from rolling down the mountain. His friend was not in the vehicle at the time of the incident.

Bridal Veil Road was temporarily closed to uphill traffic to allow a tow truck to secure the vehicle.

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