UPDATE: Woman identified who died from medical emergency after weekend rafting incident in Glenwood Canyon

UPDATE, Wednesday, June 22 — The woman who died following a rafting incident in Glenwood Canyon on Saturday has been identified by the Garfield County Coroner as Paulette Almirall, 66, of Sanford, Florida.

An autopsy was performed by a forensic pathologist working with the Coroner’s Office, but the cause of death has not yet been determined, Coroner Robert Glassmire said in a Wednesday news release. “The manner of death is being investigated as an accident,” he said.

Almirall was rescued after the commercial raft she was in tipped over in the Colorado River in Glenwood Canyon Saturday morning but died shortly after from a medical emergency, the Glenwood Springs Fire Department confirmed on Tuesday.

Fire Chief Gary Tillotson said emergency crews were called into the canyon in the vicinity of Grizzly Creek at 9:49 a.m. Saturday after a commercial raft with several occupants tipped over, leaving them to swim to safety.

However, Almirall got caught in a “strainer” several yards downstream and needed help getting to shore, he said. A strainer is a natural or manmade obstruction in the river channel.

“It took a little bit of time for her to get out of the river,” Tillotson said. “She was alive and talking after being pulled out, but then collapsed from what we assume was a subsequent cardiac event.”

Medics provided CPR, and she was transported to Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs but did not survive, he said.

Senior Reporter/Managing Editor John Stroud can be reached at 970-384-9160 or

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