Vail woman identified as Upper Colorado River rafting fatality
VAIL — A Vail Valley woman has been identified as the victim in a fatal boating accident Monday on the Upper Colorado River.
Elyssa McCreight, 32, was rafting the Colorado with several friends in rafts and kayaks when she died, according to the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office. Eagle County Coroner Kara Bettis confirmed her identity.
McCreight was a native of Reynoldsville, Pennsylvania, and lived in the Vail Valley, according to her social media pages.
Boaters who had recently been on the Upper Colorado said a hard-shelled fishing dory was stuck in Boneyard Rapid between Yarmony and Rancho del Rio.
The boat in which McCreight was riding collided with that drift boat and became high-centered, the Sheriff’s Office said.
The other people riding in McCreight’s boat jumped out and swam to shore. McCreight became trapped, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Emergency responders from Eagle and Grand counties pulled McCreight from the water. She was non-responsive to CPR efforts.
Rescuers called it a tragic accident.
“There were many people there who were very skillful,” said Dan Smith, with Vail Mountain Rescue.
McCreight’s death was the state’s second river fatality this week.
Bryan Reim, 35, of Delta, reportedly drowned Saturday, after jumping into the Gunnison River’s Escalante Canyon potholes about 50 miles south of Grand Junction, Delta County Sheriff Fred McKee told the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel.
The Eagle County Sheriff’s Office urged caution around streams and rivers.
“The dangers of high-water runoff can be fatal, as debris and river conditions change daily,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a press release.
If a boater’s life is in danger, then call 911 immediately and do not put another’s life at risk to rescue when first responders are trained and equipped for these incidents, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and email@example.com.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
A report released this month by the Center for Colorado River Studies says that in order to sustainably manage the river in the face of climate change, officials need alternative management paradigms and a different way of thinking compared with the status quo. Estimates about how much water the Upper Colorado River Basin states will use in the future are a problem that needs rethinking, according to the white paper.