Updated June 5, 2009 at midnight
Steamboat Springs Steamboat Springs emergency responders spent more than an hour late Wednesday night looking for a car crash reported on Rabbit Ears Pass before it was determined the call was likely a prank. Now they're on the hunt for the suspected prankster.
At 9:40 p.m. Wednesday, Routt County Communications received a call from a man who said he had received a call from a woman who had been in a crash on the pass. The woman reportedly said her mother was trapped in the car. The man then relayed that information to dispatchers, who called out Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue, Steamboat Springs Police Department and Routt County Sheriff's Office responders. Colorado State Patrol troopers also responded to the scene.
"He called us and of course we dispatched everybody to the area," Communications Director JP Harris said.
The caller had no information about where exactly the car crashed.
Lt. Travis Wilkinson of Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue said two fire engines and two ambulances responded and searched from the base of Rabbit Ears up to Muddy Pass on the opposite side, but were unable to find any signs of a crash. According to information relayed to responders during the search, dispatchers were able to contact the cell phone provider and determined the call was likely a prank.
The last vehicle from Fire Rescue returned to the barn at 10:49 p.m., and the call was not cleared by communications until 12:17 a.m. Thursday.
Sheriff's Office Sgt. Kurtis Luster is leading the investigation and today drove to Jackson County, where the call may have originated.
If the call was indeed a prank, the offender or offenders could face criminal charges. According to Colorado Revised Statutes, false reporting of a crime is a Class 3 misdemeanor, punishable with a fine of $50 to $750 and as many as six months imprisonment.