Borrego Sun - Since 1949

$800 to Drive Down Montezuma Valley Road


Last updated 8/28/2018 at 12:38pm

Last Thursday Aug. 9, Borrego Springs resident Jackie Larsen found herself close to the edge of the mountain. What was a normal drive down Montezuma Valley Road turned into a costly one.

At around 4 p.m., halfway down the grade, Larsen came around a curve, when she suddenly hit a rock. A rock, she recalls, the size of a small watermelon. The rock caught the right rear tire, blowing it out. Luckily, Larsen pulled quickly enough to avoid the edge.

“If I swerved too far, I would have gone off the side of the mountain,” she recalled of her near death experience.

With the weather being over 110 degrees, Larsen decided not to get out of her car, and instead, slowly went down the rest of the way before reaching Mirage Gas Co.

At the time, Mirage was the only place open, and Shaun Taijeron generously assisted Larsen in changing her tire.

“I was extremely shaken,” Larsen said. “I was still recollecting my thoughts, recovering and thinking about how close I was to driving off the mountain.”

The following day, with the spare tire on, Larsen drove out to San Diego. Sadly, no one in Borrego had the tire to replace her Subaru tires and said, “It’s an unusual tire.”

Unfortunately, because of the way her car is built, she had to buy four new tires.

Larsen joked that it cost her $800 just to come down the Montezuma Grade, and wonders how could this be prevented for the next person and the person after that.

Two others, to her mention, blew out their tires coming down the grade recently. It is unsure if the same rock is the cause, but Larsen said it sounds like someone should be maintaining the road better.

Larsen has recovered, but now goes way slower than she used to because of the uncertainty of what lies ahead.

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