Although it’s hard to make out, the vehicle seen in these images is, or rather was, a 2021 Ford Bronco Sport. The crossover was driven the wrong way down the notoriously difficult Black Bear Pass in Colorado on Sunday until the 23-year-old driver realised her mistake and attempted to turn around.
The passenger left the car to help the driver negotiate the manoeuvre, but after two of the Bronco Sport’s went too high on an embankment, the car started to roll. And continue to do so for an estimated 120 metres. The driver and a dog were ejected from the Bronco as it fell, and although both survived, the driver suffered serious injuries. She was treated on the scene and later taken to the nearby Telluride Regional Medical Center. The dog was treated for minor injuries by a local vet.
The misshapen Bronco Sport came to rest minus its engine, which was violently ripped out as the car tumbled down the cliff. The pass was closed for just over two hours while authorities recovered what was left of the Ford.
The Black Bear Pass, which is only open a few months each year, was in the news last year after a Jeep Wrangler was involved in a similarly shocking rollover pass which also resulted in the ejection of the vehicle’s occupant and two dogs. The driver had stopped to help another motorist navigate a difficult turn, but despite applying the handbrake, the Jeep started sliding and he was unable to get back in the vehicle before it fell off the edge. Thankfully, everyone involved - both human and canine - suffered only minor injuries.
In light of the more recent incident with the Bronco, the San Miguel County Sheriff’s department has issued a warning against novice off-road drivers attempting the pass using inappropriate vehicles.
The post noted:
“Black Bear Pass is an extremely dangerous road and should only be driven by experienced off-road drivers in appropriate off-road vehicles. Legally, a 16 year-old who got his driver’s license a few hours prior, may attempt to drive the pass in his grandmother’s 1980’s sedan. That doesn’t mean it’s safe to do so.”