Helicopters staged on the summit of the 12,095′ pass to bring the victims to the hospital. Independence Pass was closed during the rescue operation.

PITKIN COUNTY, Colo. — Two people were airlifted to the hospital with critical injuries after they spent the night in their vehicle after it rolled 500 feet down the mountain near the summit of Independence Pass.

The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office said the car rolled off the road on the east side of the pass Thursday night. At around midday Friday, multiple agencies helped rescue the two people trapped inside. 

One of them was carried up the hill to a waiting Flight for Life helicopter that was staged at the 12,095’ summit of Independence Pass, deputies said. A High-Altitude Army National Guard Aviation Training Site (HAATS) Blackhawk helicopter was requested for the other patient.

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There’s no word on their conditions as of Friday evening, but the news release said the two victims sustained critical injuries.

It’s unclear what led up to the rollover. 

Independence Pass was closed in both directions between 12:30 p.m. and 3:45 p.m. on Friday for the rescue operations. The pass has been one detour for passenger cars while Interstate 70 has been closed in Glenwood Canyon due to the Grizzly Creek Fire, and has gotten more traffic than usual in recent days.

Large vehicles are not allowed to take the pass due to its narrow and windy nature. 

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