Man’s body found in overturned vehicle near Oak Creek |

Man’s body found in overturned vehicle near Oak Creek

First responders found a man's body inside an overturned vehicle off of Colorado Highway 131 about 15 miles south of Steamboat Springs on Thursday afternoon.
John F. Russell

Editor’s note: This story was edited at 7:50 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 2, to add which agencies responded to the incident.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — First responders found a man’s body inside an overturned vehicle at the bottom of a steep embankment off Colorado Highway 131 about 15 miles south of Steamboat Springs on Thursday afternoon.

Authorities suspect the crash occurred on Sunday, according to Lt. Ryan Adrian with the Routt County Sheriff’s Office. It appears the man swerved off the side of the road and rolled down the embankment between mile markers 56 and 57. The vehicle was found on its roof and filled with snow, Adrian said. 

It appears the man’s body had been there for several days. His identity is being withheld pending notification of his next of kin.

Some Routt County residents located the vehicle, Adrian said. They used a drone to fly over the area and take pictures. Then, they uploaded the photos and enlarged them until they found the vehicle. The vehicle was almost impossible to see from the road, according to Adrian.  

It took first responders several hours to recover the man’s body Thursday. Routt County Search and Rescue volunteers used the railroad tracks that run along the bottom of the embankment to reach the vehicle, Adrian said. They recovered the body at about 4:30 p.m.

A tow truck managed to pull the vehicle out from the embankment around 5 p.m. 

Adrian said it could take until next week to conduct an autopsy on the body due to the extreme cold to which it had been exposed. 

Colorado State Patrol, Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue, Colorado Department of Transportation, Routt County Coroner’s Office and Oak Creek Police Department also assisted with the incident.

To reach Derek Maiolo, call 970-871-4247, email or follow him on Twitter @derek_maiolo.

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