Ref: Deputies Respond to Vehicle Off a Cliff, Two Injured
San Juan County, NM - On 07/12/12 at about 2207 San Juan County Sheriff’s Office Deputies along with Fire Personnel and EMS were dispatched to the area of NM 173 and NM 511 in reference to a single motor vehicle crash. Initial reports stated a green Ford pick-up had left the roadway, plunging off a cliff approximately 200 feet into the river bank.
Witnesses on-scene stated they “heard the truck accelerate and then the sound of crunching metal as the truck hit rocks and trees as the truck came to rest at the bottom of the canyon”. Fisherman in the area rushed to the occupants of the vehicle in a canoe and rendered aid. Due to the steep cliff and heavy brush in the area, rescue efforts were severely hampered.
The driver of the pickup truck was Timothy Maes, age 22. Maes lives in the Navajo Dam area near where the accident occurred. Maes was brought up the cliff to an awaiting ambulance. Maes informed medics that he was driving the passenger of the vehicle to “medics” in order to obtain help for him at the time. Maes said he “looked down for a brief moment and then crashed”. Maes did suffer minor injuries and was transported to San Juan Regional Medical Center.
The passenger of the vehicle was, Jared Jacquez, age 35 also from Navajo Dam. Jacquez was ejected from the vehicle and was pinned under the right front tires. It took rescue personnel several minutes to reach the vehicle and then free Jacquez from underneath it. Jacquez was flown by AirCare to SJRMC. Jacquez sustained several injuries. Neither man was wearing a seatbelt.
Accident reconstructionist, San Juan County Deputy Emerson Charley, responded to the scene and is currently investigating the crash. Charges are pending investigation results. The vehicle was not recovered from the scene last night due to safety concerns.
Recovery personnel along with fire personnel will attempt to recover the vehicle today, July 13th during daylight hours. It is anticipated that NM 511 will have to be completely shut down during the recovery process.