Tuesday, September 14, 2004
A 60-year-old California woman was taken to the hospital Tuesday evening after her car rolled off U.S. Highway 40 on Rabbit Ears Pass and landed 200 feet from the road.
Jennie Philhower, of Venice, Calif., was driving westbound on U.S. 40 when she fell asleep at the wheel and drove off the left side of the road, Colorado State Patrol Trooper Ryan Parker said. Philhower, who was driving a 2004 Subaru Outback, hit trees and rocks as the vehicle continued down a steep embankment, rolling 2 1/2 times before coming to a final rest on its wheels, Parker said.
The car stopped facing north in a wooded area and 200 feet from the road. Philhower suffered bumps and bruises to her arms, back and torso and was transported to the Yampa Valley Medical Center. None of the injuries was life threatening, Parker said.
The accident occurred at about 7:40 p.m. near mile marker 146, which is past the first summit and after the second pull-off. A number of fatal accidents have occurred in that area, Parker said.
Philhower was able to get out of her car and called 911 for help. She was unsure where she was when she called dispatch. No skid marks were left on the road, no one saw the accident and the wrecked vehicle could not be seen from the road, Parker said.
When Philhower heard an ambulance siren go past her, she called the Routt County Dispatch Center again to let them know the ambulance had gone to far.
"It could have been a real tragedy" if Philhower had been unconscious or suffered more severe injuries, Parker said.
Philhower was wearing a seatbelt, Parker said.
-- To reach Christine Metz call 871-4229 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org