Two people died June 7 in a head-on collision near Towaoc, according to Montezuma County emergency personnel.
The Cortez Fire Protection District, Ute Mountain Ute Fire Department, Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office and Bureau of Indian Affairs responded at 10:44 p.m. to a two-vehicle crash on U.S. Highway 160 about 3 miles south of Towaoc.
Both drivers, one male and one female, were pronounced dead at the scene, and a female passenger was transported to Southwest Memorial Hospital in critical condition.
BIA officials, who are investigating the crash, declined to release any information the following morning, on June 8.
Cortez Assistant Fire Chief Shawn Bittle said firefighters from Cortez and Towaoc extricated two of the vehicles’ occupants, while Montezuma County deputies provided traffic control.
The highway was closed in both directions for about three hours.
According to an incident report from the Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office, a medical helicopter was called to the scene, but when responders succeeded in removing the female passenger from her vehicle, it had not yet arrived.
The woman was transported to Southwest Memorial Hospital, where the helicopter was scheduled to meet the ambulance.
Officials would not release the names of the vehicles’ occupants or the suspected cause of the crash.
It was the second fatal crash in Montezuma County in a week, following the death of a Mancos resident after a collision near the entrance to Mesa Verde National Park on June 1.