Teen feared drowned in river accident

Authorities fear a teenager may have drowned Thursday in the Colorado River in Rifle.

Garfield County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Tanny McGinnis said a search for the teen, believed to be an 18-year-old male, was called off Thursday evening and will resume this morning.

She said the teen was reported missing after he and three other young adults were swimming in a pond-like portion of the river east of the bridge that crosses it in Rifle.

According to witnesses, McGinnis said, the missing teen swung out on a swing and landed on his side in the water, possibly having the breath knocked out of him.

He then apparently panicked as the others tried to get him out of the water, she said.

“They saw him go under. They never saw him again,” McGinnis said.

Garfield County search and rescue crews used two boats to scour the area Thursday, and area fire departments assisted in the search.

McGinnis said a dive team from Summit County will join the search today.


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