PUEBLO COUNTY, Colo. — Pueblo County Sheriff’s deputies located and rescue a 50-year-old Pueblo man who was wandering lost in the bitter cold early Sunday morning after crashing his vehicle into icy Lake Pueblo.
Deputies were sent to the area of Highway 96 West near the South Wildlife entrance of Lake Pueblo State Park about 12:10 a.m. to assist the Colorado State Patrol in searching for the lost man.
The man called for help after becoming disoriented while searching for his dog after he said the animal was swept away in the frigid waters of the Arkansas River.
The man said he was driving in the area when he crashed his Jeep Cherokee into the reservoir.
The man said he was able to get out of his submerged vehicle and that’s when he saw his dog floating down the river.
The man said he followed along the river trying to rescue the dog but was unsuccessful. He said that’s when he realized he was lost and called for help.
Officials tried several times to call the man to pinpoint his location but were unsuccessful.
A deputy sent the man a text message and he called the deputy, telling him he was somewhere south of the reservoir near the river before the call was disconnected.
Officers were able to regain telephone communication with the man just long enough to determine his location and direct deputies to the area.
The man was found walking in 14-degree temperatures about two miles from Highway 96. His clothes were wet and frozen, but he did not suffer any serious injuries.
The man was taken in a sheriff’s patrol vehicle to the highway where he was treated by paramedics and released to a family member.
Deputies and Colorado State Parks rangers returned to the area of the accident later Sunday and searched several hours for the dog.
The dog was located unharmed inside the man’s vehicle when a tow truck driver removed the vehicle from the accident site.