(CBS4) — A Durango man drove off the road on Wolf Creek Pass — and his truck rolled approximately 700 feet down the mountainside. The wreckage of his truck ended up in a creek, and William Hardaway spent the night, cold and seriously injured, in the backcountry.
The CSP responded to the crash scene near mile marker 162 around 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 24. They believe the accident happened between 10 and 11 p.m. the night before.
The CSP says Hardaway, 36, was heading west in a 1993 Dodge pickup, that was pulling a trailer with a Jeep and a utility-terrain vehicle on it. Hardaway’s truck went across the lanes of traffic, off the shoulder and hit a tree, before rolling down the mountainside.
Hardaway told the Durango Herald he suffered compound fractures, injuries to his spine and a concussion in the crash.
Hardaway told the paper the truck started filling up with water. He was able to get out of the crushed cab, but couldn’t make it up the steep slope.
“It was cold, and I was afraid I’d get hypothermia,” he told the Herald. “I didn’t know if I was going to make it out of there.”
CSP Trooper Josh Lewis said someone noticed the skid marks going off the pass on Wednesday morning and authorities started searching. They found Hardaway about 20 minutes later.
Remarkably, Hardaway spent just two days in the hospital.
“Everyone is so blown away, saying ‘I can’t believe you survived,’” the Herald quoted him a saying.
Hardaway’s friend, Cass York, set up a GoFundMe for him, to help with his medical bills and living expenses while he continues to heal.
“By some miracle, Will is at home and able to walk a little,” Cass York stated. “…he is lucid and nothing but positive despite the looming expenses of his tragedy.”
York says Hardaway’s medical insurance had lapsed “due to hardship caused by the pandemic” and he won’t be able to work for several months.
“We are asking for any help we can get to see Will through these hard times, so that he will be able to hit the ground running once he is recovered!” York wrote.