Barbara Lawlor, Pinecliffe. On Thursday morning, April 13, a local woman traveling south on Hwy. 72 felt a thump, heard a bang and the next thing she knew the Toyota Forerunner she was driving rolled over down an embankment on the other side of the road, landing on the driver’s side.
The accident took place south of Pinecliffe, just past a steep curve. Fortunately, trees stopped the Toyota from sliding more than 25 feet.
Finding herself trapped in the vehicle’s front seat, she undid her seatbelt, turned the engine back on to roll down the back window and crawled through the rear seat. At that time, a utility worker and a nearby resident arrived to help and she was pulled from the vehicle unscathed.
When Timberline Fire, Gilpin County Ambulance and the State Patrol arrived, they determined the accident was caused by a malfunction in the SUV. Witnesses say the woman was traveling at the speed limit, had just come around the curve, when her right front tire went horizontal causing the vehicle to careen to the left as the axle dragged on the pavement.
Emergency workers and law enforcement officers inspected the tire that had shorn off and determined the accident was not the fault of the driver and no ticket was issued. They say she was fortunate, that if the tire had collapsed earlier, she might have gone off the steep cliff of the switchback.