Two men die in separate accidents on Front Range rivers |

Two men die in separate accidents on Front Range rivers

Authorities say a man died after the raft he was in flipped on the Arkansas River in southern Colorado.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials say five people were thrown from the privately owned raft in a whitewater section of the river below Salida on Friday afternoon. Kayakers floating near the raft rescued four of the people, but the fifth was carried downstream.

The man, whose name has not been released, was seen floating face-down and was pulled from the water. Rangers with the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area performed CPR, but the man died at the scene.

Earlier Friday, a 26-year-old man who was involved in a tubing accident on the Poudre (POO’-dur) River in northern Colorado the previous day died. He was identified as Matthew Spates, of Fort Collins.

Debbie Reisdorff, Larimer County’s deputy coroner, identified the victim as Matthew Spates, of Fort Collins. His death has been ruled an accidental drowning.

Poudre Fire Authority officials say eight people were rescued off a small island in the river in LaPorte on Thursday, and a ninth was found in a tree in the river. One was flown by helicopter to the hospital, where he died early Friday morning.

Colorado’s rivers are swollen this time of year as the heavy mountain snowpack melts.

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