Father, son drowned on Arkansas River in Pueblo on Father’s Day

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PUEBLO, Colo. — A father and son died in a rafting incident on the Arkansas River in Pueblo Sunday afternoon, police said.

The Pueblo County Coroner has identified them as Ricardo Valencia Sanchez, 46, and Jose Louis Valencia, 16, of Aurora.

At approximately 1:24 p.m., the Pueblo Police and Pueblo Fire Department responded to a water rescue.

The pair had been ejected from a raft and were trapped in a river hydraulic, according to Pueblo Police.

After several minutes, the raft emerged from the current with both of them entangled in
attached rope, police said.

Fire personnel entered the river at a point less than a mile downriver from the dam and intercepted the raft, police said. Crews pulled the two to shore but they passed away.

Both were wearing flotation vests.

“The low-head dams do definitely represent a danger on the water and a person should never be in or around or near those low-head dams especially during high water levels,” said Pueblo Fire Captain Woody Percival.

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