In recent years, much of Colorado has been stricken by drought. This year, in contrast, we've received so much precipitation that tragedies are multiplying, with a Western Slope mudslide that took three lives to a series of rafting deaths of the Poudre River that have led to three casualties as well -- the latest being a 25-year-old woman who fell from her raft and couldn't be rescued in time. Details below.
The first incident took place on Memorial Day. Cristopher Brian Alania-Canto, a fourteen-year-old from Peru, fell into the river near the Ouzel campground and picnic area of Poudre Canyon.
The teen's uncle, 38-year-old Jose Antonio Terrel-Pena jumped in and tried to rescue him. Family members say he managed to reach the boy but then slipped and was knocked unconscious.
Terrel-Pena was pulled from the water near the scene but later died at an area hospital. Alania-Canto's body was found later that day, about eight miles downstream.
At about 2:41 p.m. yesterday, according to the Larimer County Sheriff's Office, rescuers were called to the 13000 block of the Poudre Canyon, west of Fort Collins and approximately fourteen miles west of Ted's Place, on a report of an overturned raft.
Four people had been in the vessel, and while three managed to reach safety, a 25-year-old woman had been swept away.
Larimer County Emergency Services and the Larimer County Dive Rescue Team were dispatched to assist and found the woman just over half an hour after she fell overboard. She was transported to an area hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Why is the Poudre so dangerous this year? According to the Fort Collins Coloradoan, the river was near flood stage yesterday afternoon, with a surge of 3,800 cubic feet per second running at almost five times its historical average for the date.
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Our condolences to the friends, family and loved ones of all three victims.
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.
More from our News archive circa May 27: "Photos: See mudslide area being searched for Danny Nichols, Clancy Nichols, Wes Hawkins."