Rescue effort at Carlsbad Caverns saved driver who crashed down embankment

Created: 07/03/2014 4:16 PM
By: Kristen Garcia,

Visitors entering Carlsbad Caverns National Park Thursday morning spotted a badly wrecked SUV about 200 feet down a steep embankment near the visitor center.

Visitors alerted an employee and she made her way down the hillside. She found a male victim lying outside of the vehicle, breathing but unconscious.

Rescuers were immediately called to the scene.  The victim was identified as Clyde Elliot, 23, of Canton, Texas. He was flown to El Paso for further treatment.

The preliminary investigation indicates the victim had been there since Tuesday night, but an exact time of the accident has not been determined. According to police the vehicle rolled multiple times. Mr. Elliott was not wearing his seatbelt and was ejected.   

The contributing factor in this crash has been identified as driver inattention.  At this time it is unknown if alcohol was a contributing factor.

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