by D.J. DeJong
Mail Staff Writer
A Texas man on a commercial rafting trip died Monday afternoon after being thrown from a boat as it flipped in rapids near Spike Buck Rapids on the Arkansas River.
Spike Buck is about 12 miles west of Cañon City off U.S. 50.
Sameer Prasla, 42, was a member of a Boy Scouts of America rafting group with Rocky Mountain High Adventure Base of Villa Grove.
Witnesses told Fremont County sheriff’s deputies that Prasla was in the raft when it flipped over, tossing him into the river.
Prasla was wearing a Level 5 life jacket and helmet at the time.
Deputies received the call at 3:46 p.m. and arrived on the scene at approximately 4:10 p.m. to find Tallahassee Fire, American Medical Response and Colorado Parks and Wildlife personnel performing life-saving measures on Prasla.
Two lanes of U.S. 50 were shut down for first responders, and traffic was alternated in a third lane.
Fremont County Coroner Randy Kelly pronounced Prasla dead on the scene.
An autopsy was scheduled for Tuesday, Fremont County Undersheriff Derek Irvine said.
River flow at the time of the incident was about 4,200 cubic feet per second.
Irvine said it was the first rafting death on the Arkansas this season in Fremont County.
Waters continue to rise in the Arkansas River Basin.
The National Weather Service issued a flood warning Tuesday for the Arkansas River at Cañon City.
At 1:15 p.m. Tuesday the Arkansas was at 9.5 feet and 4,570 cfs at Cañon City. Flood stage is 10 feet.
The river is expected to rise above flood stage by early Friday morning to near 10.2 feet by midnight Saturday, producing minor flooding through Sunday.