A man in his 30s died by suicide Tuesday afternoon on U.S. 50, which caused the highway to be closed for about three hours.
Gunnison County law enforcement had received information from an outside agency that the man was in Gunnison, was suicidal, and would possibly attempt to die at the hands of police, Gunnison County Sheriff John Gallowich said.
The Gunnison Police Department subsequently spotted the man in town and, for safety reasons, the agencies waited until he left town before initiating a traffic stop.
The man headed west on the highway and was stopped near Wilson’s Landing. Officers attempted to talk the man out of the vehicle, but could not.
A drone camera from Montrose was brought in and through its footage, officers found the man had completed suicide.
Gallowich would not immediately say whether weapons were found in the vehicle, or how the man may have died, because the investigation is not complete. For the same reason, he could not provide information about the victim’s background.
Gallowich did address rumors circulating online. No one else but the man was in the vehicle, he said; it was not a hostage situation and no children were involved.
“It’s a tragedy,” Gallowich said.
The highway was closed from 3:36 p.m. to 6:27 p.m. to allow for law enforcement response and to protect the motoring public.
The Gunnison County Sheriff’s Office and Gunnison Police Department were assisted by the National Park Service, Colorado State Patrol, Montrose Police Department and Montrose County Sheriff’s Office.