Severance man who died in Tuesday’s rafting accident identified by coroner
June 28, 2017
The Larimer County Coroner's office identified the body of a Severance man who died Tuesday after a rafting accident on the Poudre River.
According to a news release from the office, the man was 64-year-old William McHarg. The Fort Collins Coloradoan reported McHarg was on a rafting trip with Rocky Mountain Adventures, and he died after his raft flipped, sending him into the water.
The release from the coroner listed McHarg's cause of death as sudden cardiac death coupled with asphyxia by drowning.
David Costlow, with the River Outfitters Association, confirmed McHarg was indeed wearing a life vest and a helmet, according to the Coloradoan, but became unresponsive when he hit the water. A raft guard performed CPR on him until McHarg was flown to a hospital where he died.
McHarg's death was the second on the Poudre River this month. On June 18, a tubing accident ended in the death of a Seattle-area teenager. In that incident, authorities said Maxmillian Lopez of Kirkland, Wash., drowned in the Poudre River near Bellvue. He and a 16-year-old who was tubing with him were both knocked into the water after passing over a low-head dam, which are difficult to see from upstream.
A third river death in Colorado this month also took place on Tuesday. A man on a private rafting trip in central Colorado died after falling into the Arkansas River.
The Chaffee County sheriff's office said the man fell into the water the Browns Canyon area while traveling over Class III, or intermediate, rapids.
Members of the rafting party said the victim was pulled from the river and given CPR, but efforts to revive him failed. The man's name was not immediately released.
—The Associated Press contributed to this report.