EGNAR — A 31-year-old Florida man was found early Monday morning in a shed near the Dolores River after a motorcycle accident and a four-hour search involving multiple law enforcement agencies, according to a press release from the San Miguel County Sheriff’s Office.
San Miguel County Dispatchers received a call at 2:30 a.m. reporting a crashed motorcycle and blood, but no driver, on the side of the road on Colorado Highway 141 about 7 miles north of Egnar. The call prompted an extensive overnight search for him in blizzard conditions Monday near Egnar, about 50 miles northwest of Cortez.
Egnar Fire and EMS and a Dove Creek ambulance responded to the scene but could not find the driver. San Miguel County Deputies and Search and Rescue personnel were then dispatched and began a search for the driver. Colorado State Patrol also responded.
The driver later told sheriff’s deputies he found a small shed about 4.5 miles from the crash site near the Dolores River along side of Colorado 141 and stayed there until dawn.
Search and rescue personnel located the man about 6:47 a.m. Monday along the roadway, about 80 yards from the shed, with multiple injuries, according to a press release.
Deputies noted what appeared to be a simulated bed in the shed made from bags of dog and horse food.
San Miguel County Deputy Sheriff Chris White, who was on scene, said in the release the man was lucky to be alive.
“He was fortunate to have found shelter after a bad accident and cold, windy, winter conditions,” White said. “This is another situation where the person, even with severe injuries, was “self-rescue” capable. He got himself where he needed to be.”
The driver told sheriff’s deputies he was traveling alone, en route to Boulder when he found he was going too fast to round a corner and slid into a guardrail. That area is noted to have a sudden speed-limit drop from 65 mph to 35 mph. The man told deputies he did not see the sign indicating the speed limit drop. The crash is believed to have happened some time after 9 p.m. Sunday.
The driver told deputies he waited on the side of the road for passerby assistance until temperatures started falling, the wind picked up and it started to snow. He decided to walk along the road in an effort to find shelter.
Temperatures in the area overnight were reportedly as low as 17 degrees with winds gusting up to 40 mph.
Dove Creek EMS transported the man to Monticello, Utah, for further care.
In the release, San Miguel County Sheriff Bill Masters commended the efforts of all involved.
“All of the responders, many of them volunteers, deserve a tremendous amount of kudos for coming out in the middle of the night and working through a blizzard to find this man, and I thank them.”