Cochise County Sheriff’s Office deputies warn drivers in mountainous areas to “be cautious, travel slowly and be aware of blind turns and curves” and be attentive to bicyclists and animals following a precarious incident Thursday evening which left a driver and passenger in a dangerous situation near Carr Canyon peak.
Deputies responded to the incident, in which the driver and passenger of a silver Dodge Stratus were left with the front driver’s side of the car dangling off the edge of the roadway with no guardrail around 5 p.m.
A man and a woman were in the car when the incident occurred, though it wasn’t immediately clear Thursday who was driving when the accident happened. The man and the woman each told deputies at the scene that the other was driving, according to CCSO Deputy Allison Hadfield.
Hadfield said the two gave conflicting stories, but as best she could glean, the car was going too fast and the driver misjudged the curve and nearly went off the left side of the road. The drop-off on that side of the road is at least 100 feet, and the drop was littered with trees and underbrush.
Hadfield said law enforcement and emergency responders don’t often see such incidents, though she warned people to be prepared for any kind of trouble should they choose to journey onto local mountains.
“People should carry extra bottles of water, make sure you have GPS capabilities and let people know where you are going” before heading out on a trip into remote areas, as well as let others know what type of vehicle you are driving, in case of emergency and search-and-rescue units are forced to locate you, Hadfield said. The deputy also said it’s wise to carry other basic survival items in your vehicle.
Hadfield said deputies were unsure what, if any, charges would be filed Thursday against the man or woman, though she did note the man said there was an open container of alcohol in the car. If that proved true, Hadfield said, at least an open-container charge would be forthcoming, pending further investigation.
The deputy added that the cost of towing the car off the side of the mountain would be charged to the owner of the car, which was the man. The identities of both the man and woman were not made available Thursday night, as neither had yet been arrested.
Neither the man nor the woman were injured in Thursday’s incident. Deputies at the scene did say the man appeared to be “extremely inebriated.”