Hit-and-run suspect on loose after Saturday chase
CARBONDALE, Colorado — Police were still on the lookout Monday for the driver of a stolen vehicle who led a Colorado State Patrol trooper on a high-speed chase on Highway 133 south of here Saturday evening before pulling into a private driveway and fleeing on foot.
According to the State Patrol, Craig dispatch aired an alert at 5:45 p.m. Saturday about a hit-and-run crash that had occurred on westbound Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon just west of the Hanging Lake Tunnels involving a vehicle reported stolen in Idaho Springs that earlier that day.
Around 6:30 p.m., a trooper was traveling north on Highway 133 south of Carbondale when he clocked a tan Mercury going the other way traveling 77 mph in a 55-mph zone.
The trooper turned to make a stop, but the car sped away, according to a State Patrol news release.
The trooper followed the vehicle into the Bill Creek subdivision near the BRB Campground and observed the vehicle coming back toward him. He confirmed from the license plate that it was the stolen vehicle involved in the earlier hit-and-run.
The driver of the car reportedly stopped, then backed up around a curve and out of sight. For safety reasons, the trooper held his position and called for backup, according to the news release.
When the backup officer arrived, they walked in to search the area. The stolen car was found abandoned in a driveway on 7 Oaks Road and had collided with a parked vehicle, but the suspect had fled.
Glenwood Springs Police Department’s K-9 (dog) unit was called to assist in tracking the suspect, but police were unable to locate the suspect after several hours of searching the area.
The suspect was described as a white male, approximately 6 feet tall and wearing blue jeans and a tan jacket. He was last seen in the vicinity of mile post 61 on Highway 133.
State Patrol spokesman Graham Thorne said it’s common practice whenever there is a foot pursuit to wait until another officer arrives.
“It’s for officer safety,” he said. “We don’t want to have one guy go charging into the woods when who knows what the suspect has with them.”
Once backup arrives, “if anything does happen you have safety in numbers,” Thorne said.
He said the hit-and-run accident occurred when the suspect was reportedly speeding on westbound I-70 just west of Hanging Lake when he rear-ended another vehicle, then sped away. No one was reported injured in the accident.
Following the subsequent chase, the suspect vehicle was towed and will be held for theft investigation. Anyone with information regarding the identity or possible location of the suspect should contact the Colorado State Patrol in Glenwood Springs at (970) 945-6198.
Also responding were the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office, the Carbondale Police Department and the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office.
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State department of transportation crews are well on their way to clearing Highway 82 to Independence Pass, which should open on schedule May 27 at noon.