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Father, son die in rafting incident in Pueblo on Father’s Day

Arkansas River Pueblo
Posted at 7:36 AM, Jun 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-22 20:16:36-04

PUEBLO, Colo. — An Aurora father and his teenage son died in a rafting incident on the Arkansas River in Pueblo on Father’s Day.

At 1:24 p.m. Sunday, the Pueblo Police Department and Pueblo Fire Department responded to an area of the Arkansas River near City Park in Pueblo for a water rescue.

Based on information from witnesses, two males — an adult and juvenile — had been ejected from a raft and were trapped in a river hydraulic. The raft emerged from the current after several minutes. Both males were entangled in an attached rope, according to police.

Fire personnel were able to intercept the raft less than a mile down the river and dragged it, along with the two males, to the shore, police said. Both were wearing flotation vests but were declared deceased at the scene.

The Pueblo County Coroner’s Office identified the deceased as Aurora residents Ricardo Valencia Sanchez, 46, and his son, Jose Louis Valencia, 16.

A GoFundMe has been set up for the family.