A driver from Minnesota had a close call last week when his car almost went off a sheer cliff, which drops hundreds of feet, on Red Mountain Pass.
According to Colorado State Patrol Trooper Josh Lewis, a 2015 Ford sedan driven by 75-year-old James Keogh was headed north Friday on U.S. Highway 550 from Silverton to Ouray.
Around 8:30 p.m., Keogh was near mile marker 90, a couple of miles south of Ouray. That particular section of the pass has a rock wall on the shoulder of the northbound lane and a steep drop along the southbound lane.
Keogh apparently hit the mountainside, then crossed into the southbound lane. His car came to a stop partially hanging over the cliff side, which drops hundreds of feet down.
Trooper Lewis was unsure if speed was a factor in the crash. He said Keogh was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Keogh had minor injuries, but was not transported to a hospital, Lewis said. The car required a tow to be removed from the cliff wall.
Todd Smith of Durango was one of the first people to arrive at the scene with his friend, Ron Ernst. Smith said he and Ernst found Keogh inside the vehicle, very disoriented. The car’s airbags had gone off.
“You don’t want to move someone when they’ve been in an accident, but seeing the situation the car was in, we didn’t really have a choice,” Smith said. “We wanted to get him out of the car.”
Smith and Ernst grabbed Keogh’s arms and legs and pulled Keogh out of the vehicle.
“It was an exciting evening,” Smith said. “A couple more inches and the car could have went over.”