On April 18, 2020 at approximately 5:05 p.m. Summit County Sheriff’s Office Deputies began investigating the report of a suicidal woman who was armed with a handgun in the Wildernest subdivision in unincorporated Summit County.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: April 19, 2020
Contact: Erin Opsahl
SHERIFF’S OFFICE INVESTIGATES WELFARE CHECK
SUMMIT COUNTY, CO – On April 18, 2020 at approximately 5:05 p.m. Summit County Sheriff’s Office Deputies began investigating the report of a suicidal woman who was armed with a handgun in the Wildernest subdivision in unincorporated Summit County.
Law enforcement agencies across the county began looking for the woman based on the vehicle description that was provided. Shortly after 6:00 p.m., the woman’s cell phone was showing to be in the Breckenridge area, possibly in the Peak 7 subdivision. Sheriff’s Deputies familiar with the woman recalled her working at a mine in the French Creek area and proceeded to check that location. A Deputy located the woman’s vehicle idling at the gate to the mine and upon approach she sped away down County Road 450 towards Colorado Highway 9.
The Colorado State Patrol observing the vehicle began pursuing around the area of County Road 450 and Highway 9 North Bound. The vehicle traveling a high rate of speed failed to make the turn at Highway 9 and Swan Mountain Road and crashed across the curb and into trees located near the service road and bike path. The woman remained in the car as Sheriff’s Deputies and other law enforcement officers secured the scene and created a safe perimeter closing the Highway at Swan Mountain Road.
The Sheriff’s Office SMART Team quickly arrived at the scene of the accident. The SMART team is a newly formed mental health response team comprised of a Sheriff’s Deputy and a trained mental health clinician. The SMART Team was eventually able to talk with the woman by her cell phone as she remained in her vehicle. After a period of time talking with the SMART Team, the woman agreed to leave her vehicle, leaving the handgun in the car, and approach officers.
Dialogue with the woman broke down and she turned from officers and began running back to her vehicle at which time officers chased and tackled her before she reached the vehicle. The woman was taken into protective custody and immediately provided medical services from Summit Fire and EMS who had been on standby at the scene waiting for law enforcement actions to conclude. The woman was transported by ambulance to Saint Anthony’s Summit Medical Center where the SMART Team will arrange appropriate mental health services for the woman.
The identity of the woman taken into protective custody is not being released due to the privacy involving a mental health incident. This incident is also under review by the District Attorney’s Office.
*SMART is an acronym for the System-wide Mental Assessment Response Team. The team is newly formed and grant funded from Summit County Strong Futures 1A funding along with funding from the Department of Local Affairs and the State of Colorado Office of Behavioral Health.