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Accident Description


Info. on Pine Creek Accident

Posted by Robert on Tuesday, 18 July 2000

Just found this on the Mountain Mail - Chafee County Times website, dated July 18, 2000

Fort Lupton man dies in raft accident

by Lesley Reno Mail Staff Writer

A rafting accident on the Arkansas River at noon Saturday left one man dead, when four commercial rafting passengers were thrown into the river. Larry Lee Weber, 49, was a Fort Lupton city council member. He was on the rafting trip with friends, according to reports. Stewart Pappenfort, of Colorado State Parks, said Weber was rafting with Breckenridge Whitewater Inc. when the accident occurred. The raft was reportedly negotiating Pine Creek Rapid when it hit a large wave and the four passengers fell into the river.

Pine Creek is a Class 5 rapid located about 15 miles north of Buena Vista. The river was flowing at 876 cubic feet per second at the time. River guides and the safety boater - a kayaker who accompanies rafts in Class 4 or 5 rapids for safety purposes - were reportedly able to get three of the swimmers to shore safely. Preliminary investigation showed that Weber was held underwater for two-to-four minutes, by a foot or leg entrapment.

According to reports from the Chaffee County Sheriff's Office, a guide pulled Weber from the river. He had only gone a short distance downstream. The river guides, one a paramedic, reportedly began CPR immediately. Chaffee County EMS transported Weber to Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center. Weber was flown from Salida to St. Anthony's Central Hospital, Denver, where he was pronounced dead Sunday morning. Saturday's death was the first boating fatality in Chaffee County since the 1998 rafting season.