The Colorado State Patrol is trying to identify the driver who led them on a high-speed pursuit on U.S. Highway 550 north of Durango around noon Sunday.
The driver fled on foot before law enforcement officers were able to make contact with him or apprehend him, said Colorado State Patrol Trooper Josh Lewis.
A CSP trooper pursued a gray Audi with Arizona license plates that was traveling at more than 100 mph for about three minutes around mile marker 34 before calling off the pursuit to protect public safety, Lewis said.
Later, farther south, Lewis said La Plata County Sheriff’s deputies found the vehicle, but the driver had fled on foot.
CSP Capt. Adrian Driscoll said the abandoned vehicle was discovered on County Road 203, on the west side of the Animas Valley.
CSP is trying to determine who was driving the vehicle, and the agency plans to seek an arrest warrant once the driver is identified, Lewis said.
“We’re trying to make sure we have the right party,” Lewis said. “We have different registered owners, and it sounds like we had at least one passenger in the vehicle as well.”
Cindy Plummer of Durango said she was almost hit by the vehicle after picking up her daughter and granddaughter from Purgatory Ski Resort where they were attending the Snowburners children’s ski lessons.
“I looked in my rearview mirror, and a car just came flying over the first little blind hill. Right where the hot spring comes out alongside the highway.” Plummer said. “They were going to hit me. I mean, they were headed straight for me going over 100 mph. And so I veered to get off the road. And they veered that way. So, I veered left into oncoming traffic and they just missed me by inches.”
Luckily, Plummer said no one was in the oncoming lane.
“It scared the little girls that were in the car when I veered. But it was just a split instinct thing that I did,” she said.
After the vehicle passed her, Plummer said she could see it bobbing and weaving in traffic and other drivers were pulling off the road to avoid being hit by it.
“It was so otherworldly. It was extremely stressful,” Plummer said.