Colorado Snowplow Driver Stops Suspect in Police Chase with Plow

A Colorado snowplow operator is being credited with stopping a suspect being chased by police on a closed road and protecting travelers by using his plow as a crash barrier.

Joe Duarte, transportation maintainer 2 for the Colorado Department of Transportation, was leading about 30 drivers west on snow-covered Highway 40 in Winter Park around noon March 14. The east lane was closed. A Grand County sheriff’s sergeant and vehicle were blocking it when a man driving a silver Jeep Cherokee refused to stop and drove past the sergeant and the message sign. The sergeant pursued the Jeep.

At the top of Berthoud Pass, the sergeant stopped his pursuit and notified law enforcement in Clear Creek County about the Jeep.

Around this time, Duarte got a call about a nearby high-speed pursuit and soon saw the Jeep coming toward him in the same lane he was in. He told CBS News Colorado that he saw only one choice: let the driver hit his snowplow rather than the driving public behind him. So he brought his plow to a stop. The Jeep ran into it and then ricocheted off into a snow bank on the roadside. No one was reportedly injured, and the snowplow was mostly unscathed.

The driver began walking away. Empire police officers caught the man.

Randy Calvin was later charged by the Grand County Sheriff’s Office with traffic charges related to the pursuit and an outstanding felony arrest warrant for a parole violation. “The successful resolution of this incident would not have been possible without the partnership of our law enforcement agencies across Grand and Clear Creek Counties, the Colorado Department of Transportation, and Colorado State Patrol,” said the Grand County Sheriff’s Office news release.            

silver jeep cherokee in snow bank beside orange snowplow on highway 40The driver of the Jeep Cherokee crashed into the Colorado DOT snowplow and then stopped in a snow bank. Police were able to catch him as he tried to walk away.Grand County Sheriff’s Office