A Bayfield man was airlifted with serious injuries after being involved in a head-on crash Friday night on U.S. Highway 550 north of the Colorado-New Mexico line.
The crash was reported at 7:42 p.m. near mile post 2.1, which is south of Bondad and about 2 miles north of the state line, said Trooper Jeffrey Chmielewski with the Colorado State Patrol.
The driver of a black Ford Explorer was traveling north in the southbound lane of the highway, which is divided by barriers and a median, when he ran head-on into a white Toyota Tundra, Chmielewski said. The crash occurred on a bridge that crosses a gully.
The driver of the Ford Explorer, with Colorado plates, was identified as Dustin Martinez, 38, of Bayfield. He was airlifted by helicopter to a hospital in New Mexico with serious but non-life-threatening injuries, Chmielewski said.
A man and a woman in the Toyota Tundra, which had New Mexico plates, were taken to Mercy Regional Medical Center. Their identities and conditions were not immediately available Friday night.
Troopers were unsure how or why Martinez ended up on the wrong side of the highway.
Alcohol was not immediately suspected, and there was no indication of excessive speed, Chmielewski said.
The southbound lane was completely closed for 45 to 60 minutes while a helicopter landed and authorities investigated and cleaned up the crash scene. The northbound lane remained open.
“Always make sure that you’re aware of your surroundings,” Chmielewski said. “There are a variety of unexpected circumstances we can encounter at anytime on the roadway.
“We hope that everybody heals quickly from this one.”