Man killed in Vail Valley rafting accident Thursday afternoon
Attempts at resuscitation by first responders on the scene are unsuccessful
June 6, 2019
· How you can helpFriends set up a GoFundMe page to help raise funds to send
Nikolay Pezhemskiy's body back to his family in Russia. To donate, go to www.gofundme.com.
Friends Tetiana and Evghenii Kanashuk are helping lead the effort. Call them at
970-393-0722 or 970-445-8800.
AVON — A
Russian man died in a Vail Valley rafting accident near EagleVail Thursday
Pezhemskiy, 29, was one of five young men who started down the Eagle River in
EagleVail on a crystal clear Thursday afternoon.
Not far into
the group’s trip downriver, they hit a tall wave and a hole on the other side.
The raft flipped and all five were thrown into the raging river. Four managed
to scramble up the bank and safety. Pezhemskiy did not. The fast water swept
him away. One of the four managed to run to the EagleVail golf course to get
help. He found some golfers who called 911.
call came in around 1:10 p.m., reporting that a raft had flipped in the Eagle
River, and that one of the boaters was missing. Emergency crews responded in moments,
scouring the area for Pezhemskiy. They found him in the river near the
Emergency workers immediately began administering CPR at a spot between the
river and the pool gates of the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa. Onlookers watched
from the pool area and Avon’s Bob the Bridge.However, attempts to resuscitate
Pezhemskiy were unsuccessful.
As first responders and others tried to resuscitate Pezhemskiy,
his four friends gathered on a grassy spot, under the shade of a spruce tree and
out of the sun. They stared toward the river as they spoke quietly with Avon
police and Eagle County Sheriff’s deputies who were trying to get a handle on
what happened. When they were done with that, they stayed together on that
Coroner Kara Bettis identified Pezhemskiy late Thursday night, after his family
in Russia had been notified.
The five men
were on a private trip. There were all in their 20s and 30s and were properly
geared up with personal flotation devices, helmets and drysuits.
was rumored that the accident happened at a wave that local boaters dubbed Bob
Senior near Avon’s Bob the Bridge, that’s not the case, law enforcement
officials said. The accident happened east of the bridge, upriver from Avon,
called Bob Senior was altered and enlarged during the winter. The Eagle River
is running hard through that area. That, and the location of first responders
around Avon’s Westin Resort, led some to conjecture that the Bob Senior wave
might have been a part of the deadly equation.
with Sage Outdoor Adventures urged caution on the river.
been running it, but you have to run it well. Scout it, pick your line, and run
it,” Bangert said.
creeks throughout Eagle County are not expected to peak until next week.
waters can be fast and furious with strong undertows and opportunities for even
the best and most experienced river runners to find themselves in harm’s way,”
the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release. “Remember that
accidents can happen, regardless of your skill level and on any type of water.”
One dead in river rafting accident near
Flipped raft leads to joint rescue operation led by Eagle County
June 6, 2019
Summit Daily, Vail, CO
Nate Peterson / Vail Daily
AVON — A rafting
accident near EagleVail left one man dead Thursday afternoon.
responded to calls around 1:10 p.m. that a raft had flipped in the Eagle River.
The raft hit a high wave and then a hole on the other side. It flipped and
threw all five men into the river.
Four of the five men
in the raft managed to scramble to the river bank and safety. One ran to find
some golfers on the EagleVail golf course who called 911.
The unaccounted person
was located floating near the Eaglebend Apartments in Avon, Colo.
worked diligently to implement a river rescue. Once the individual was pulled
from the water CPR was started immediately. The victim was transported to a
nearby hospital, however the resuscitations efforts were unsuccessful.
The identity of the
victim is not being released at this time pending next of kin notifications.
This story will be
updated as more information becomes available.