Regional briefs

More rocks fall on Red Mountain Pass

Red Mountain Pass re-opened for traffic late Saturday night after another dangerous rockfall in the afternoon sent baseball-size rocks hurling into vehicles and briefly closed traffic in both directions.

It hit in the same vicinity of last winter’s massive rockfall-mitigation efforts on the enormous Ruby Walls cliffs on Red Mountain Pass.

Colorado State Patrol spokeswoman Cpl. Heather Cobler said no injuries were reported, but there was damage to vehicles. She said reports came in at about 6:12 p.m., and more rocks fell for at least a half an hour near mile marker 90, while crews with the Colorado Department of Transportation waited.

“They had to wait for the rocks to finish coming down before they could even get in there and clear it,”she said.

In January, months of work began to stabilize cliff faces and mitigate rockfall. The highway was reopened without restriction in June.

3 die in rollover crash near Ophir

Authorities say three people were killed in a single-vehicle rollover crash in Southwest Colorado.

KMGH-TV in Denver reported the vehicle was headed south on Colorado 145 near Ophir at about 2 a.m. Saturday when it went off the road and rolled several times down a steep embankment.

The San Miguel County Sheriff’s Office says three of the four people who were in the vehicle were pronounced dead at the scene. Their names have not been released.

The Colorado State Patrol is investigating the crash. Ophir is about six miles south of Telluride.

Tragedies affect state rafting industry

After getting pinched by drought and tourism-repelling fires in 2012 and 2013, Colorado’s rafting industry may face a new hurdle in the form of high flows and plentiful whitewater. Rafting-related incidents on Colorado’s fast-moving rivers have resulted in at least four deaths since early June, roughly a quarter of the 13 drowning deaths reported statewide this year.

The tragedies come after consecutive years without fatalities, according to the American Whitewater Affiliation, but Whitewater Rafting owner Erik Larsson of Glenwood Springs, says business is down.

At least two of the deaths involved commercially guided companies, including an incident last Saturday in which a Colorado Springs man was pitched from a commercial raft in the Royal Gorge.

Two of this year’s deaths occurred on the Arkansas River, where river outfitters and other tourism-related businesses were hammered last year by the Royal Gorge fire. Drought in 2012 likewise made for a year of anemic returns.

Four injured in collision on U.S. 550

Four injured people were taken by ground to Mercy Regional Medical Center on Sunday morning after a head-on collision involving a pickup truck and a compact wagon occurred in the 28000 block of U.S. 550. Colorado State Patrol, Durango Fire and Protection District and La Plata County Sheriff’s Office all responded.

The highway was closed for about two hours in both directions, said Sgt. Brandon Tisher with the LPSO.

He said the CSP is handling the investigation.

Staff reports