Deadly Rafting Accident

MGN Online

A 48-year-old man was killed after being thrown from a raft and pulled under the surface for several minutes.

The victim was rafting on the Arkansas River Tuesday when the accident occurred.

The sheriff's office says the raft hit rough water and five of the seven people inside were tossed into the water. Four people were pulled back in, but the victim, identified as Van Hodges, was pulled underwater by the current.

Several minutes reportedly passed before he surfaced and employees of the rafting company were able to pull him to shore. Efforts to revive him failed.

The Fremont County Sheriff's Office says Hodges is from Oklahoma. He was apparently rafting with three family members and members of his daughters softball team.

Hodges, along with everyone else, was wearing a helmet and life vest.

The accident happened near the Salt Lick Recreation Site on Highway 50. The area is about 13 miles west of the Royal Gorge turnoff from Highway 50.