NewsCovering Colorado


Challenger Hellcat driver hits 130 mph to avoid police, crash closes I-70

Posted at 11:50 AM, May 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-08 20:37:21-04

EAGLE, Colo. – The driver of a Dodge Challenger Hellcat seen speeding on westbound I-70 crashed his muscle car more than 50 miles after 911 calls first came in about reckless driving east of Vail Pass.

Colorado State Patrol reports the driver was heading westbound at speeds around 130 mph while making unsafe lane changes, and generally driving recklessly after sunset Tuesday. For your information, this model year of the Challenger has a recorded top speed of 203 mph right off the assembly line.

Crashed Dodge Challenger Hellcat
The driver of this Dodge Challenger Hellcat crashed his car on I-70 blocking traffic near Eagle. (Colorado State Patrol)

As officers from several law enforcement agencies attempted to find the car, the driver never slowed down or changed direction.  Eventually a state trooper spotted the Challenger and attempted a traffic stop. The driver instead chose to use the shoulder to pass other drivers at dangerous speeds.

Soon afterwards, an off-duty officer reported the car crashed on a sharp corner near the Wolcott exit in Summit County. The car came to a rest in the eastbound lanes of I-70 after rolling several times. Troopers closed I-70 for an hour to clear up the wreckage.

Rafael Cotlear
Rafael Cotlear

31-year-old Rafael Cotlear of Maryland was taken to the hospital to be treated for minor injuries. He was later booked into jail on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, reckless endangerment, exhibition of speed, damage to a highway structure and failure to provide proof of insurance.

State Patrol did not mention if Cotlear is the owner of the car.