1 child dead, 1 airlifted after emergency at Powderhorn

One child died and a second one was flown by CareFlight to St. Mary’s Hospital Tuesday evening, but authorities weren’t saying what happened.

The children, approximately 2 and 4 years old, were in a vehicle parked at Powderhorn Mountain Resort about 6:30 p.m. when paramedics were called.

Initial scanner reports from deputies with the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department and the Plateau Valley Fire Department indicated exposure to carbon monoxide may have been a factor, but that could not be confirmed by other officials.

Investigators with the Sheriff’s Department and the Mesa County Coroner’s Office were at the scene trying to determine what happened, said sheriff’s spokeswoman Heather Benjamin.

“Investigators were very clear to me they were not going to speculate on the cause,” she said. “I’ve had others report carbon monoxide, but that would be complete speculation. It’s just very early in the investigation.”

Radio communication between CareFlight workers and medical personnel at the hospital reported the second child was “breathing, but unresponsive” when the helicopter arrived at St. Mary’s more than an hour after paramedics were first called.

Those same dispatch reports indicated it was the 2-year-old who had died, but Benjamin couldn’t confirm that, either.

She said when a small child dies, whatever the cause, things naturally become frantic for first-responders.

“We absolutely have a death investigation of a small child, another small child was transported to St. Mary’s by CareFlight, and we’ll see what the investigation shows overnight,” she said. “That’s about all we really have that’s accurate and true at this point.”


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