Man Drowns In Labor Day Accident On Orchard Mesa

The Labor Day holiday turns tragic for one Grand Valley family, as a man apparently drowns in the Gunnison River near the roller dam on Orchard Mesa.

The Grand Junction Fire Department was called to the roller dam off of 26 3/4 Rd. around 6:00 p.m. The efforts to rescue the 22–year–old man, who's name has not been released, turned into a recovery mission just a half-hour later after initial searches came up with no signs.

Dive crews with the Mesa County Search and Rescue team and surface search teams with the Grand Junction Fire Department scoured an area of about a mile around the roller dam.

Authorities on the scene say it was a large family gathering, several family members waded out into the waist deep water, however, the man who has not been recovered got to close to the dam, which was flowing at around 1,400 feet-per-second.

Crews did bring lighting into the area after the sun went down to continue the search, but because of the dangerous waters around the dam, the search was suspended for the night around 9:30 Monday night.

Authorities also say that one family member did jump into the water to save the victim, however, due to fatigue and the swift current, those efforts were unsuccessful.


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