Longmont man found dead at McClure Pass; cause still not public | PostIndependent.com

Longmont man found dead at McClure Pass; cause still not public

Ryan Summerlin

Monday’s closure of Colorado 133 at McClure Pass was due to the as-yet unexplained death of a man camping near the road, authorities said Tuesday morning.

Pitkin County emergency responders received reports of an injured person who turned out to be dead. He was found on a rural road near the top of McClure Pass.

Tuesday evening, the Pitkin County coroner identified the man as Matthew Barz, 49, of Longmont. The office did not, however, release the cause and manner of death.

“Pending further investigation and an autopsy, additional information regarding the cause of death will be released by the Pitkin County Coroner’s Office,” the news release said.

Because of its proximity to Colorado 133, the investigation into the death prompted a closure of the pass that lasted most of the day.

The body was discovered at about 7 a.m., and the pass closure lasted until about 3:30 p.m., when one lane was opened.

Barz appeared to be camping in the area, and the cause of his injuries were not immediately known, according to the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office.

Barz’s body was discovered near the Pitkin-Gunnison County line, and the sheriffs’ offices from both counties are working on the investigation.

Also working the scene were the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Forest Service, Colorado State Patrol, Colorado Department of Transportation and Mountain Rescue Aspen.

CDOT reports Monday erroneously said that McClure Pass was closed after a vehicle accident at about 9:10 a.m.

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