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Aztec man dies after driving off Coal Bank Pass

Authorities say vehicle went 100 to 150 feet down rocky embankment

A 64-year-old Aztec man died Saturday after driving off Coal Bank Pass on U.S. Highway 550, north of Durango.

Colorado State Patrol Trooper Josh Lewis said a 2013 Toyota sedan traveling south was reported to have gone off the west side of the highway around 10 a.m. near milepost 56, on the south side of Coal Bank Pass.

The car reportedly went 100 to 150 feet down a steep, rocky embankment, colliding with several large boulders and trees, and overturning.

The driver, the only occupant in the car, was taken by ambulance to Mercy Regional Medical Center but was declared dead on arrival.

The driver was identified as James Love.

Lewis said excessive speed is not considered a factor in the crash, but investigators believe alcohol was involved. Love was wearing a seat belt, Lewis said.


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