Three teenagers in a dark gray Jeep Cherokee fled from Durango Police around 1:20 a.m. Saturday, traveling at high speeds around West Second Avenue and West 25th Street before crashing into a Greenmount Cemetery gate.
Durango Police stopped one person, a passenger in the car, but the other two fled the scene. Law enforcement called the Flight For Life helicopter in response to the crash, believing the teens were injured, but the helicopter crew did not need to transport anyone. The incident is under investigation.
“We know who they are,” said Cmdr. Ray Shupe with the Durango Police Department. “They haven’t been contacted and questioned yet. That’s why the case is still open.”
Durango Police approached the vehicle in response to a suspicious vehicle call. Instead of yielding, the teenagers drove away “erratically,” crossing the center line and driving in a reckless manner, Shupe said.
The officer at the scene estimated the teenagers were driving about 50 mph in a residential area with a 25 mph speed limit, he said. The officer stopped pursuing the vehicle after a few blocks out of concern for safety in the residential area.
Another Durango Police officer located the vehicle a short time later after it crashed into the metal gates at the cemetery.
“Apparently, they were going to hide in the cemetery and did not understand the physics involved in a large metal gate blocking their path,” said the department’s Facebook post Saturday.
Shupe did not provide more information about the individuals’ area of residence or the charges because it is an open investigation involving juveniles.
The department also reported two domestic violence incidents, with injuries, and an injury due to intoxication in the Facebook post.
Durango Police urged residents to act responsibly in the post, particularly because of the resource strain caused by the COVID-19 crisis.
“Resources such as medical facilities, medical staff and First Responders should be used for actual emergencies or the current medical crisis,” the post said. “Wouldn’t it be nice if people could act like responsible grownups?”