A 43-year-old Durango accountant was hit and launched from the road as he jogged near his house early Saturday on County Road 234, near Elmore's Corner, by a driver who failed to slow down or stop after the collision.
The Colorado State Patrol has collected a detached side-view mirror from the vehicle, and glass from the scene indicates the passenger side window was blown out by the impact with the jogger. The mirror was described as likely belonging to a vehicle with a heated-mirror function.
Chris Carney, an accountant with the Durango firm Brown Wheeldon Tafoya & Barrett, suffered a broken bone in his lower leg, two torn tendons and a separated ankle as a result of the hit-and-run incident that occurred at about 6 a.m. A cut on his arm also required two layers of stitches.
Carney, who estimates he runs five mornings a week, was not able to get a good look at the car from the ground as it cleared hills in the distance. His black Lab and running partner, Schwartz, was unhurt in the collision.
As well as running with his back to approaching traffic, Carney wore his usual kit of traffic-alert gear: blinking headlamp, orange reflective vest, reflective shorts and light-colored undershirt.
The snowbanks that now line many La Plata County roads were not an issue on this stretch of road, said State Trooper Stephanie Clewely, who responded to the collision.
"He had at least three feet of shoulder; he had plenty of room," she said. "I suspect the driver of crowding him."
Clewely said the mirror collected at the scene had an identification number etched on it by the manufacturer. Because Colorado State Patrol needs to wait until Monday to run the number, she advises the guilty party to come forward now.
The next car that passed the scene also failed to stop as Carney tried to flag it down from the ground. The driver of a third car stopped and offered assistance. After returning from the hospital, Carney said he was angry about the lack of empathy displayed by the first two drivers.
"I've been buzzed before, some close calls, but this - this was an open road, no one coming the other way. They had to have seen me. I know accidents happen, but they just didn't even stop."
Carney said a boot cast for the broken bone would be needed for four to six weeks. Doctors told him the torn tendons will take about two years to fully heal.
The tae kwon do instructor, volunteer wrestling official and entrant in last year's Durango Parks and Recreation Triathlon awaits surgery Monday put a positive spin on his forecast lay-up.
"There's a lot of good football on (Saturday), and I have a brand-new TV, so I guess that's nice," he said.