Authorities find burning SUV in Old Snowmass |

Authorities find burning SUV in Old Snowmass

OLD SNOWMASS – A driver of a midsize SUV slid off Elk Creek Road in Old Snowmass early Monday morning, left the scene and appeared at the vehicle owner’s house five hours later, the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

When deputies responded to the scene of the incident shortly after 2 a.m. after being alerted by a 911 call, the vehicle was “fully engulfed in flames,” according to the Sheriff’s Office. The Basalt Fire Department extinguished the fire, authorities said.

“Due to the heat of the fire, the vehicle’s license plates and vehicle identification numbers were unreadable,” the statement said. “Because of this, deputies were unable to determine the vehicle’s registered owner.”

The investigation was then turned over to the Colorado State Patrol.

Around 5 a.m., Pitkin County’s Emergency Communications Department received a 911 call from a man claiming to have been the driver of the vehicle. He stated that “he became scared after wrecking the car and had left the scene on foot,” attempting to walk to Highway 82.

The driver, whose identity was not released, claimed to be uninjured and lost, the Sheriff’s Office said. Around 8 a.m., he appeared at the vehicle owner’s house. The Sheriff’s Office was notified of that at 8:30 a.m.

The Colorado State Patrol is handling the investigation. Contacted Monday evening, State Patrol Sgt. Shawn Olmstead said the information from the Sheriff’s Office might have been released in haste.

“We’re doing some follow-up, and we’re unsure if this is even a motor-vehicle accident,” he said.

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