Woman drowns in rafting accident on upper Colorado River


On June 5, 2017, just before 4:00 p.m first responders from Eagle and Grand Counties quickly responded to reports of boats and people that were pinned in the Boneyard Rapid between Yarmony and Rancho Del Rio on the Upper Colorado River.

The boaters were a large private group from the Edwards area with several boats and kayaks in their group. As the group approached the Boneyard Rapid, one boat became high centered on an already abandoned hard-shelled dory that was pinned on a rock. As the occupants of the boat began to swim out of the rapid, Elyssa McCreight, 32 of Vail, CO became trapped.

Emergency responders from the Eagle and Grand counties quickly arrived on scene with resources and volunteers to assist witnesses and boaters with recovery efforts. By 5:00 p.m., McCreight was recovered from the river, and was non responsive to CPR efforts.

McCreight’s death was the state’s second river fatality this week. Spring and summer brings warmer temperatures, snow melt, run off and high water in all our mountain streams and rivers. The dangers of high water run off can be fatal as debris and river conditions change daily. Grand County Sheriff’s Office reminds water enthusiasts, “To be prepared, alert and familiar with proper safety equipment and how to rescue yourself and others when recreating in high water areas.”