Accident Database

Report ID# 3590

  • Health Problem
  • Heart Attack / Heart Failure
  • Other

Accident Description

Kayaker who died in Blue River is William Keen of Dillon

Cause of death still unclear, coroner says

By Caddie Nath Summit Daily News

It is still unclear how a kayaker from Dillon died Thursday afternoon, when his body was found in the Blue River north of Silverthorne near the Columbine take out, according to a statement from the Summit County Coroner's Office. William Keen, 50, of Dillon was wearing a helmet and life vest, rafters who saw him just before his death reported. Coroner Joanne Richardson said she suspects Keen drowned, but cannot rule out a medical event as the cause of death.

Keen, who was known in the local rafting community, was seen kayaking just moments before rafters found him face down in the river. They pulled him out and began CPR while awaiting emergency responders. Because no one saw what happened, the coroner is ordering an autopsy, which will not be conducted until Monday, according to the release. Keen is survived by his wife and four children.


Coroner: Dillon Kayaker Accidentally Drowned

William Keen Drowned On Blue River, Had Heart Condition, Coroner Says

Alan Gathright, 7NEWS Content Producer

POSTED: 4:20 pm MDT July 17, 2011

SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. -- The death of a Dillon kayaker on the Blue River has been ruled an accidental drowning, a coroner said Sunday. William Keen, 50, was found face down in the water near the "Pipeline" area of the Blue River north of Silverthorne on Thursday afternoon, Summit County Coroner Joanne Richardson said in a news release Sunday. A person called 911 at 1:36 p.m. Thursday to report the unconscious man in the water, Richardson said. The caller then ran down to the river's Columbine take out, where some rafters pulled the man from the water and attempted CPR.

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