A vehicle traveling more than 100 mph blasted through Cortez, Towoac and Shiprock on Sunday afternoon, according to local law enforcement.
No crashes or injuries were reported, but drivers reported being forced off the road during dangerous passes.
Navajo Police and Bureau of Indian Affairs officers lost track of the SUV as it traveled southbound on U.S. Highway 491 south of Shiprock.
About 1 p.m., Cortez Dispatch received five 911 calls about a reckless driver westbound on U.S. Highway 160 near Mancos, said Montezuma County Sheriff Steve Nowlin.
Upon arriving in Cortez, the vehicle ran through stop lights traveling at 85 mph, said Cortez police officer Andy Brock.
He said Cortez police were monitoring the vehicle, but pulled off after three minutes to avoid a more dangerous high-speed chase.
“A high-speed pursuit could have caused more problems in this situation,” Brock said.
Local and regional police were notified. There was not enough advanced notice to deploy spike strips in this incident, he said.
Driving past Belt Salvage, at 6702 U.S. 491, the vehicle hit 100 mph and was traveling at 90 mph south of County Road E, officers reported.
BIA, Navajo, and New Mexico police took over the incident once the vehicle crossed onto the Ute Mountain Ute reservation and over the Colorado state line.
A Cortez Police Department incident report describes the vehicle as a blue Hyundai Sorento hatchback with New Mexico license plates. The driver was male, and there were no apparent passengers.
“There were no reported crashes, but there were some close calls with other drivers,” Brock said.
The speeder reportedly turned around in or near Shiprock and briefly headed back north, then turned around again and resumed traveling south. Montezuma County deputies were stationed south of Cortez and were ready to deploy spike strips if the vehicle returned to Colorado, Nowlin said.
Deputies and police reported they did not actively chase the vehicle, but it was unclear whether New Mexico police or BIA got involved in a high-speed chase with sirens and lights.
Law enforcement officers consider multiple factors when deciding if a high speed chase is warranted, officials said. If the driver is suspected in a murder or kidnapping, a chase is more likely to stop a suspect, they said. For traffic violations, a high-speed chase may be avoided for public safety issues, and the driver is contacted at a later time. As of Monday morning, the speeding Sunday driver had not been identified, and no arrests were reported.