Motorcycle rider hurt in crash walks 4.5 miles in the snow, spends night in shed
SAN MIGUEL COUNTY, Colo. — A Florida man who crashed his motorcycle in southwestern Colorado walked more than four miles in blizzard-like conditions to find shelter, the San Miguel County Sheriff’s Office said.
The 31-year-old man crashed on Highway 141 near Egnar, which is 100 miles west of Telluride, at about 9 p.m. Sunday.
He was on the top of Slick Rock Canyon, where there is a sudden speed-limit drop from 65 mph to 35 mph. The man told investigators he didn’t see the warning sign and lost control going around a corner.
The man, who had multiple injuries from the crash, told deputies he waited on the side of the road for someone to drive by until temperatures started falling.
When the wind picked up and it started to snow, he decided to look for shelter. The man and walked 4.5 miles until he found a small shed near the Dolores River. He stayed there overnight, and slept on bags of dog food and horse food.
Temperatures in the area were reportedly as low as 17 degrees with winds gusting up to 40 mph, the sheriff’s office said.
At about 2:30 a.m., someone reported finding the crashed motorcycle and blood — but no driver.
Multiple agencies searched for the injured man for four hours before finding him standing along the roadway at about 6:45 a.m. Monday.
Paramedics transported him to Monticello, Utah, for further care.
“He was fortunate to have found shelter after a bad accident and cold, windy, winter conditions,” said Deputy Sheriff Chris White. “This is another situation where the person, even with severe injuries, was ‘self-rescue’ capable. He got himself where he needed to be.”
Sheriff Bill Masters thanked everyone involved in the search.
“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,” Masters said.