Montrose, COLO.—In the late afternoon hours of Wednesday, May 10, Richard Zehm, a 72-year-old Redvale man drowned while kayaking on the Dolores River 6.6 miles south of Bedrock.  

Mr. Zehm and a friend were kayaking when they hit a rock and the kayak overturned. The friend survived and was able to flag down assistance from nearby kayakers. The rescuing kayakers were ultimately able to recover Mr. Zehm’s body, and bring him to a near by boat ramp, where first responders were on-scene.

“The rivers are running extremely fast due to the large amount of snowpack in the mountains,” said Montrose County Sheriff Gene Lillard. “Use caution when recreating on the rivers and streams.” 

The cause of death appears to be drowning and the manner of death is under investigation by the Montrose County Coroner’s Office of Medical Investigation and Montrose County Sheriff’s Office. Additional assisting agencies included the Montrose County Sheriff’s Posse and Nucla-Naturita Fire and EMS. An autopsy has been scheduled.