Utah accident claims energetic 82-year-old Glenwood resident
Golfers, skiers and other friends of active 82-year-old Glenwood Springs resident Bob Wolfarth are mourning news that he died over the weekend in a car accident near Moab.Wolfarth was killed Sunday when his 2007 Toyota Prius went off State Road 128 and into the Colorado River.Utah Highway Patrol spokesman Preston Raban said the car went off the right side of the road. It went down an embankment, rolled at least once and landed in the river. Wolfarth was either thrown from the vehicle during the accident or pulled from it by the river’s current. His body was found two miles downstream.Investigators weren’t sure of the time of the accident. Raban said authorities aren’t ruling out the possibility that Wolfarth fell asleep at the wheel or was affected by a medical condition. They don’t believe drugs or alcohol were involved. Raban said he thinks an autopsy was planned. Joe O’Donnell, a Glenwood Springs City Council member and longtime friend of Wolfarth’s, said he was a careful driver. O’Donnell said Wolfarth had a history of heart problems and more recently was treated for a subdural hematoma in his brain.
Wolfarth had been heading to a family reunion in California, but was going to Phoenix first, possibly for a golf seminar, O’Donnell said.Wolfarth also loved skiing, and previously had been a lift operator and ski school instructor at Sunlight Mountain Resort.”The guy was so full of life. He was a fixture at the ski area,” O’Donnell said.Greg Gortsema, head golf pro at the Glenwood Springs Golf Club, described Wolfarth as “just a real go-getter. Just energetic. He did everything.”Gortsema said he learned of Wolfarth’s death just as a senior group of players Wolfarth often played with were teeing up for their regular Monday round.”They were all out here divvying up who’s playing with who and I had to go out and tell them,” he said. “These guys are going to miss him.”
Wolfarth also played at Lakota Canyon Golf Club in New Castle, where last year he celebrated the first hole-in-one in his golfing career.He also enjoyed the Hot Springs Pool and recently had joined the Elks Lodge.Wolfarth was from the Chicago area. O’Donnell said he served domestically in the Air Force during World War II as a flight instructor.Wolfarth formerly served on the city Planning and Zoning Commission. In 2005 he considered running for City Council but decided he was too busy to serve. O’Donnell said Wolfarth had been working on selling property back in Chicago, and had just recently succeeded in doing so, which enabled him to buy his new car.Wolfarth also continued to enjoy motorcycling, and had gone by motorcycle on his last trip to California.
O’Donnell said Wolfarth’s area friends may arrange a local memorial service for him in a week or two.Contact Dennis Webb: firstname.lastname@example.orgPost Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO
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UPDATE: Both westbound lanes and one eastbound lane of Interstate 70, according to a 12:20 a.m. update from Garfield County.