EAGLE COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – A 30-year-old man from Iowa was booked into Eagle County’s jail Monday morning after fleeing from at least two accidents and then leading police on a pursuit down an interstate the day before.
Alan Rodriguez-Paz was the driver of the car at the time of the chase-ending crash, investigators with the Colorado State Patrol believe.READ MORE: Doctors at Swedish Medical Center Support Delaying Decision On Booster Shots In U.S.: 'Let's Not Be Impatient'
At first, they were not so sure he was driving the car earlier.
“We have reason to believe there were two people in the vehicle and they may have switched at some point,” CSP Trooper Josh Lewis told CBS4.
Investigators initially suspected that the second person may have exited the car before law enforcement began its pursuit, Lewis added.
However, Lewis said on August 2 that investigators had determined Rodriguez-Paz was the lone occupant of the vehicle during the entire event.
Lewis said authorities were alerted to the first hit-and-run accident at 6:40 p.m. Sunday. It occurred at mile marker 153 on Interstate 70. A red 2013 Chevy Cruz was involved in the incident and drove away.
The same car was identified a short time later and a relatively short distance away, Lewis said, after another hit-and-run accident. The Cruz hit a Budget rental truck and suffered heavy damage.
Witness statements from those accidents suggested another person may have been driving the Cruz, Lewis said.
Lewis also said investigators were looking into a possible third hit-and-run accident.READ MORE: Lawsuit That Was Filed Against Hospital Over Death Of Olivia Gant Resolved
Eventually, a CSP trooper and an Eagle County deputy spotted the damaged Cruz being driven recklessly westbound on I-70. The car ran over tire-deflating “stop sticks” that an officer laid across the roadway at mile marker 138, west of Gypsum, Lewis explained.
#BREAKING I-70 CLOSED WB at Gypsum (MP 140) for police activity, following pursuit and crash.
— CSP Eagle (@CSP_Eagle) July 26, 2021
Rodriguez-Paz lost control of the Cruz and rolled into the median. He was taken into custody, taken to a Vail hospital for his injuries, and released from that hospital Monday morning, Lewis said.
Lewis added the Cruz was not reported stolen and CSP investigators were attempting to contact the registered owner of the car. He also is from Iowa, Lewis said.
No injuries were reported from any of the hit-and-run accidents.
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