Two women were rescued Aug. 21 after veering off the Independence Pass stretch of Hwy. 82 the night before.

The women were found the morning after the crash, which had left them stranded at the bottom of a 500-foot embankment, according to a press release issued by the Lake County Sheriff’s office (LCSO). 

The accident, which involved only one car, was reported to Colorado State Patrol Friday morning when a passerby who had stopped to take photos heard the women calling for help.

LCSO, Leadville/Lake County Fire-Rescue, St. Vincent Hospital EMS, Lake County Road and Bridge, Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office, Aspen Mountain Rescue, Flight for Life, Aspen EMS, the Aspen Fire Protection District, Colorado State Patrol, and Colorado Department of Transportation all aided in the rescue.

The extraction took nearly three hours and ended with the two women being airlifted to a Denver hospital for medical attention for critical injuries. Both the driver and the passenger survived.

Hwy. 82 was closed in both directions during the rescue.

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