Man drowns in Glade Park ‘potholes’

A 46-year-old Grand Junction man drowned Sunday after authorities say he jumped from a 30-foot ledge into the Little Dolores River on Glade Park.

Mesa County Sheriff’s Lt. Jim Fogg said the man, whose identity wasn’t immediately known, had been with a group of people and told them he wanted to take “one last jump” into a section of the river known as the “potholes.”

“He started screaming for help and got sucked under,” said Jeremy Saenz, of Grand Junction, who visited the popular recreation area near Miracle Rock for the first time Sunday.

Saenz said his friend, Octavio Ramirez, jumped into the river and briefly had a grip on the victim’s hand, before the current pulled the man under for a period of about five minutes.

A group of five to six people was eventually able to pull the man’s body from the river, while those rescuers had to drive several miles to find cell phone service and call 911, Saenz said.

Mesa County Search and Rescue and the Glade Park Fire Department were called at 8:10 p.m., while technical rescue and ground crews were still trying to remove the body from the rocky terrain as of 10 p.m.

Firefighter Richard Brown said snowmelt from nearby Pinon Mesa has the river at its highest, and potentially most dangerous, point.

“It’s a washing machine,” he said.


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