Aspen man found on riverbank may have had ‘medical event’ that led to death, coroner says

Staff report

A 38-year-old Aspen man found unconscious early Sunday morning partially lying in the Roaring Fork River may have suffered a “medical event,” the coroner’s office said in an update on the death.

Loren Ryerson did not appear to have injuries “consistent with a fall from (a nearby) bridge,” according to the Wednesday night release from the Pitkin County Coroner’s Office.

“It is believed that Mr. Ryerson may have dropped his phone and was at the edge of the river to retrieve it when a medical event possibly occurred,” the release states.

Ryerson initially was thought to have suffered head trauma from a fall, the coroner’s office has said.

A homeowner near Oklahoma Flats on Aspen’s east side reported seeing Ryerson’s body on the south bank of the river early Sunday morning — Wednesday’s release says his feet were in the water — and asked police to check on him. Ryerson was first taken to Aspen Valley Hospital, then to St. Anthony’s Hospital in Lakewood, where he was pronounced dead.

Ryerson was a 2001 graduate of Aspen High School and went to the University of Arizona. A memorial for Ryerson is scheduled for 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday at Bumps Restaurant at Buttermilk. Ryerson’s family has asked attendees to wear sports team jerseys, hats and other gear from his favorite teams, the Broncos, Avalanche, Rockies and Manchester United.