The minivan driver who crashed on Floyd Hill last weekend can thank his lucky stars — and one anonymous guardian angel — that he survived the horrific ordeal.
According to the Colorado State Patrol, the man was traveling west on Interstate 70 about 5:20 p.m. on March 29. As he descended Floyd Hill’s precipitous western slope, the right front wheel of his Dodge Caravan locked tight, setting the vehicle ablaze and sending it careening into a guardrail post.
The burning van rolled into a pull-off at Mile Marker 245, igniting small grass fires as it went, and kept rolling straight over the side of the mountain. It tumbled about 240 feet down the shear canyon wall, spreading fire in its wake and crashing to a stop on U.S. 40, the battered driver still trapped within the flaming wreckage. And that’s when his luck took a turn for the better.
Encountering the fiery scene, an unidentified U.S. 40 motorist leapt from his vehicle, pulled the burning driver from the ruins of his Caravan and doused his flaming clothes with a portable fire extinguisher.
Crews from Clear Creek EMS, the Clear Creek Sheriff’s Office, Clear Creek Fire Authority and Evergreen Fire Rescue quickly arrived on the scene and, after administering emergency care, Clear Creek EMS personnel handed their patient off to a Flight for Life crew from St. Anthony Central Hospital. The man was ultimately transported to University Hospital, which has exceptional burn-care facilities.
Fire crews swiftly quenched the several grass fires, and the mysterious good Samaritan disappeared as suddenly as he’d arrived. His identity remains unknown.
Authorities say the injured driver was wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident.