Authorities pull SUV from Colorado River near New Castle |

Authorities pull SUV from Colorado River near New Castle

Members of a rescue team fasten cable to a Ford Expedition that crashed into the Colorado River early Tuesday morning. The cable was attached to a pair of tow trucks, which extracted the vehicle from the river.
Jon Mitchell / |

Authorities shut down one eastbound lane of Interstate 70 near New Castle on Thursday morning as they worked to extract a vehicle from the Colorado River south of town.

The vehicle, a late 1990s or 2000 Ford Expedition, plunged into the chilly water at about 4 a.m. Tuesday when the driver apparently lost control on the icy road, the SUV skidded along the guardrail for about 90 feet, flipped over the barrier, rolled down the rocky embankment and came to rest in the swift-moving current, according to BT Harper, an officer with the New Castle Police Department.

The driver, whose name is being withheld pending further investigation, was able to swim to shore and summon help along the highway. He is still being treated at Valley View Hospital, Harper said.

A crowd of onlookers gathered at the New Castle boat launch on the south side of the river Thursday between 10 and 11 a.m. as crews lined the river banks and cruised the river in inflatable boats, ready to assist anyone who might end up in the river during the operation. Cables were attached to the Expedition from a wrecker parked on the shoulder of the interstate, and the submerged car was dragged across the streambed and up the embankment.

The team at the scene included personnel from the Colorado Department of Transportation, the Colorado State Patrol, New Castle Police Department, Summit County Search and Rescue and Garfield County Search and Rescue, Harper said.

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