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Vehicle plunges 150 yards down steep embankment in Durango; driver is missing

Crash occurred overnight along Rim Drive, near Hillcrest Golf Club
A Toyota 4Runner drove off College Mesa and traveled about 150 yards down a steep embankment early Friday near the Hillcrest Golf Course Clubhouse in Durango. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

A silver Toyota 4Runner tumbled about 150 yards down a steep embankment near the Hillcrest Golf Club sometime late Thursday or early Friday, according to the Durango Police Department.

Police were notified of the incident at 8:28 a.m. and were investigating the scene for much of the morning Friday. About 30 rescue workers were at the scene, including search and rescue members and firefighters with Durango Fire Protection District.

The driver of the vehicle remained missing as of Friday afternoon, said Brice Current, assistant chief with the Durango Police Department.

A Toyota 4Runner drove off College Mesa and traveled about 150 yards down a steep embankment early Friday near the Hillcrest Golf Course Clubhouse in Durango. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

Durango resident Baker McKonly said he was running on a trail leading up College Mesa on Friday morning when he noticed debris from the wreckage.

He “scrambled” down to the vehicle, but didn’t find anybody around. He found a shoe and blood on rocks, he said.

“I didn’t know if I wanted to go see what I was going to see,” he said. “I had to scramble down to it. It was hands and feet to get down to it.”

He said the vehicle was 300 to 400 feet down a ravine, and it went off one of the steepest areas of the road.

A Toyota 4Runner sits several hundred feet below Rim Drive on Friday near Hillcrest Golf Club. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

McKonly said he notified police of the crash.

Police told him there was a hit-and-run crash the previous night at the college, but Current said it was unknown if the two incidents are related.

“We just want to make sure the driver is safe and OK,” Current said.

shane@durangoherald.com

Durango Fire Protection District members and Durango Police Department officers gather and layout the plan for searching the hillside Friday after a vehicle was discovered a few hundred feet down the mountain from Rim Drive near Hillcrest Golf Club. Blood was found in the vehicle and in the brush, but no driver was located. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)
La Plata County Search and Rescue joins Durango Fire Protection District and Durango Police Department to search the steep hillside where a Toyota 4Runner went off Rim Drive on Friday near Hillcrest Golf Club. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)
Tire marks on Rim Drive show the direction and where the vehicle went off the road. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)
A Durango Fire Protection District firefighter searches the steep hillside where a Toyota 4Runner went off Rim Drive on Friday morning near Hillcrest Golf Club. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)
Durango Police Department and Durango Fire Protection District respond to the scene where a Toyota 4Runner went off Rim Drive on Friday near Hillcrest Golf Club. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)
Durango Police Department officers and detectives investigate the scene where a Toyota 4Runner went off Rim Drive on Friday near Hillcrest Golf Club. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)
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