Log In

Reset Password

Driver flees officer, collides with truck in south Cortez

Suspect vehicle involved allegedly sped through downtown Cortez

A driver who fled officers Sunday from Mancos to south Cortez and is suspected of traveling high speeds through downtown Cortez on Sunday evening, was involved in a two-vehicle crash that caused injuries, according to the Cortez Police Department.

The crash occurred around 6 p.m. on U.S. 160/491 in south Cortez within city limits, said Assistant Police Chief Andy Brock of the Cortez Police Department.

The car had been traveling at high speeds starting from Mancos, he said.

Because of the car’s excessive speed, a Montezuma County sheriff deputy and Cortez police officers did not chase down the vehicle with lights and sirens for public safety reasons. Cortez officers trailed the car from a distance, Brock said, lost sight of it, and then came upon the crash.

Montezuma County Sheriff Steven Nowlin, who has been on vacation, said Tuesday night that he was not sufficiently informed to comment on the incident.

The suspect vehicle was southbound on U.S. 160/491at the southern edge of town when it allegedly crossed into the northbound lane and collided with a pickup truck. The car spun back into the southbound lane hit a rock wall, then flipped onto its top, Brock said.

A two-vehicle crash occured in south Cortez Sunday.

The female driver and male passenger were injured and transported to Southwest Memorial Hospital. The injuries were not life threatening, Brock said. neither wore seat belts.

The female driver of the car and her male passenger were arrested and taken to Montezuma County Detention Center, Brock said. Their identities and possible charges were not released. The police and sheriff’s incident reports had not been released as of Tuesday evening.

The northbound truck had three occupants, and the person in the back seat suffered broken ribs, Brock said. All three people in the truck were wearing seat belts, and were examined at the hospital.

“It was a surprise that everyone survived,” Brock said, considering the damage at the crash site.

High speeds; spike strips

The incident began in the Mancos area when a Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office deputy attempted to pull over a vehicle for a suspected traffic infraction, Brock said.

The vehicle sped away west on U.S. 160 toward Cortez, Brock said. Because of the high speeds, the vehicle was not chased by the sheriff deputy for public safety reasons, Brock said.

“We did not want to add to the danger of the situation and put the public at further risk,” he said.

Cortez police officers were alerted by the sheriff deputy of the approaching vehicle traveling at high speed. A Cortez officer began directing traffic off Main Street in anticipation of the vehicle coming through, and saw the suspect vehicle speed past.

Another Cortez police officer set down spike strips on West Main Street, Brock said. The vehicle clipped the spikes with one tire, but continued south onto U.S. 160/491.

The vehicle then allegedly crossed into oncoming traffic and crashed with the pickup truck, Brock said.

Traffic was stopped in both directions, according to a person waiting for the road to re-open.

The passenger vehicle was impounded, and a search warrant was sought, Brock said.

This article will be updated when more information becomes available.