Accident Database

Report ID# 2388

  • Health Problem
  • Heart Attack / Heart Failure
  • Cold Water

Accident Description


A local guide writes: "As I understand from talking to the coroner who performed the autopsy, Mr. McKnight did not drown as reported by the media.  I was told (by the coroner) the victim had a heart attack, resulting from two heart arrhythmia of which he was unaware.  Additionally, I believe the 'Long Swim' categorization is incorrect.  The victim may have spent a total of 10 seconds in the water.  When we did the riverside walk through of the event, the investigating officer was surprised to see just how short of a distance the victim actually spent outside of a raft.  Also, I don't think the rapid is known as Deep Hell "due to the especially treacherous water and sharp rocks."  Although possessing a fiendish name, it is not the most difficult part of the run and sharp rocks abound everywhere  Clear Creek."


Police identify rafter who drowned in Clear Creek
written by: Colleen Locke ; updated by: Dan Boniface and Quynh Nguyen Reporter/Producer
created: 6/9/2007 7:20:26 PM

CLEAR CREEK COUNTY - The Sheriff's Office says a 36-year-old man drowned when he fell out of his raft Saturday afternoon. The Sheriff's Office says Jed McKnight of Boulder was with a group of other rafters on Clear Creek when he fell out of the All American Adventures raft he was in between tunnels 6 and 5. The incident happened shortly after 2 p.m. near mile marker 259 in Idaho Springs, along US 6. According to the Sheriff's Department, there were three rafts on this particular trip. Two flipped, including the one McKnight was on. McKnight was the only person who did not survive.

"First reaction was what can you do but there's nothing that can be done," Jim Tanner, McKnight's boss and friend, said. The area is known as "Deep Hell"-- an advanced section of the creek. The rafting company, All American Adventures, was closed Sunday. The company was tight lipped about what had happened, but issued a short statement saying "our thoughts and prayers are with the deceased's family and friends." Rescuers say after McKnight went into the water, he ended up downstream about a quarter of a mile. That is where a kayaker pulled him to shore and performed CPR. McKnight was later pronounced dead by Flight for Life medical staff.

"As a friend and colleague of Jed, I wished that they had made the decision not to go down the river that day," Tanner said. McKnight worked for Wall Street On Demand -- a Boulder company that builds websites for brokerage firms. Friends say McKnight was an expert on financial markets. "He was this rare combination of really easy to get along with but also really smart," Tanner said. "We're gonna miss him a lot, we're all gonna miss him." (Copyright KUSA*TV, All Rights Reserved)

from the Colorado Springs Gazette:

A man who drowned after falling out of a raft Saturday on Clear Creek was identified as Jed G. McKnight, 36, of Boulder, the Clear Creek County coroner's office said. He had been with a group of friends on a whitewater rafting trip run by All AMerican Adventures of Idaho Springs. Guides said McKnight was wearing a life jacket and a helmet when he went overboard in 35- to 40-degree water. The accident occurred near State Highway 119 and US Highway 6 in an area known as "Deep Hell Rapids" due to the especially treacherous water and sharp rocks. No other injuries were reported. All American Adventures issued a statement conveying thoughts and prayers to the victim's family.

TEXT ATTACHMENTS From I just was talking to my neighbor about this. He was invited to go on the rafting trip but had skipped it. It was a group of 15 guys on 3 rafts for a bachelor party weekend. I am not familiar with this section of clear creek but he said that it happened in "Deep Hell". This is the name of the rapid it is the end of Hell's Corner rapid. It is the second commercial rafting death on Clear Creek in two years.

All of us that work on the Creek as guides hate to see this type of thing happen. My condolences to the family of the victum. My heart also goes out to the guides on the trip. This might not be the best information because it is second-hand, but from what I understand the first raft went through ok and the second and third were flipped. One of the righted rafts wound up with 11 people in it and then it flipped. His buddy who was on the trip, not the one who died, was flipped out of a raft 3 times before the ordeal was over and was pretty banged up. Two members of the group performed CPR on the guy who died by the side of the river but he was gone. sad story...

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