Seatbelts and helmets likely saved multiple lives when a family was involved in an off-highway vehicle rollover crash in Colorado, police say.
An off-highway vehicle (OHV) plunged about 300 feet off a mountain road located just north of Silverton on Wednesday, sending one child with serious injuries to the hospital by helicopter.
According to San Juan County Search and Rescue, two adults and four children were injured as a result of the OHV rollover crash Wednesday in San Juan County.
The crash occurred at about 4:00 PM at the intersection of County Road 2 and County Road 9 just south of Animas Forks.
A Flight for Life helicopter was requested for one child that was suffering serious injuries from the crash. The medical helicopter managed to land at an old mine site known as Eureka to retrieve the child. The child was then transported the child to Mercy Regional Medical Center in Durango.
Officials say all of the children were wearing helmets and seat belts at the time of the crash.
"Thank God, safety gear saved these people's lives," San Juan County Undersheriff Steve Lowrance said. "It's been proven over time that they do save lives and we encourage people to continue practicing these efforts and following speed limits."
The extent of their injuries is unknown at this time. This is a developing story. More information will be added as it becomes available.
The 9-mile dirt and rock loop, also known as Picayune and Placer Gulch, is located in the San Juan Mountains. The 4x4 route featuring moderate to extremely difficult terrain beginning just outside of Silverton and ending in the ghost town of Animas Forks. Animas Forks reaches an elevation of 11,200 feet, nearly 2,000 feet above Silverton.
Thanks goes out to the responding agencies including Silverton Ambulance, SJC Search & Rescue, SJC Sheriff Dept, SJC Fire Dept, Durango Fire Protection & a Flight for Life Helicopter.
Editor’s Note: Help fund search and rescue missions across the state of Colorado by purchasing a CORSAR card at ihelpsearch.org. This is not an insurance card. By purchasing a card, you are helping reimburse teams for costs incurred in providing help to lost and injured hikers, climbers, mountain bikers, hunters, ATV riders, skiers, snowboarders, and more.