A kayaker died July 14 in the Blue River, north of Silverthorne, Colorado.
High flows persist; whitewater websites warn of logs and other obstacles in high country streams
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — A kayaker who died July 14 in the Blue River has been identified as 50-year-old William Keen, of Dillon.
The accident occurred north of Silverthorne near the Columbine take-out at mile marker 111 along Highway 9.
The coroner’s office is investigating the accident, believed to be a drowning. But since the death was not witnessed an autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.
In a followup press release, coroner Joanne Richardson said Keen leaves behind a wife and four children.
The coroner’s office was called to the scene about 2:20 p.m. after a group of rafters reported seeing a male face-down in the water. The rafters reportedly had seen the decedent kayaking a few minutes earlier, wearing a helmet and life vest.
The rafters started CPR on the man and called 911 at 1:36 p.m.
“We suspect drowning but cannot rule out a medical event. We do not have a positive ID but the decedent is believed to be a Summit County resident. I do not expect to have a name until tomorrow,” Summit County Coroner Joanne Richardson said in a press release.
The Blue River north of Silverthorne has been running high for the past several weeks, with releases from Dillon Reservoir and inflows from tributaries adding to flows of 2,000 cubic feet per second and more.
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