Man dies in rafting accident

Victim drowns in Westwater area

A Littleton man drowned Thursday after he and four others were thrown from their raft in Westwater Canyon in Utah.

Jaymond W. Brasher, 47, was among a party of about one dozen people who were on four rafts, two of which flipped around 12:45 p.m. in a section of Westwater known as Skull Rapid, according to Grand County Sheriff’s Department investigator Brent Pace.

Brasher, who was last seen wearing a life jacket, was observed in the water below the rapid and floating down river, Pace said.

When survivors made it to the banks, they found what appeared to be Brasher’s life jacket.

Brasher’s body was found about eight miles down river, washed up on an island.

All members of the party said they had been wearing life jackets prior to the accident, Pace said.

According to Pace, Brasher was a private engineering consultant and was accompanied by several employees of the city of Grand Junction on the rafting trip. Pace did not identify the individuals.

They had set out on the Colorado River in Utah from the Westwater boat ramp earlier Thursday, Pace said.

“They said this was about the sixth of seventh trip they’d made together,” Pace said.

Grand Junction City Manager Laurie Kadrich said five to six city employees, many of them in public works, were on the trip, and several of them were thrown into the water when the rafts flipped. None were reported injured, Kadrich said.

They were on paid vacation, she said.

Brasher was a consultant with Jacobs Engineering and worked with city staff in recent years on development of Riverside Parkway, Kadrich said.


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