Mesa Co. sergeant dies in Tanzania |

Mesa Co. sergeant dies in Tanzania

The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. ” The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office is mourning the loss of one of its own.

Sheriff Stan Hilkey says 37-year-old Sergeant Jason Lhotka (LOT’-kuh) died yesterday during a climbing trip to Mount Kilimanjaro in northeastern Tanzania, Africa.

The Grand Junction resident was on an extended vacation when he died at a base camp on the mountain.

Hilkey says the cause of death appears to be a pulmonary embolism, which occurs when a blood clot in the extremities breaks away and travels to the lungs.

Lhotka was a 10-year veteran of the sheriff’s department, having joined as a sheriff’s deputy in January 1997.

Hilkey called Lhotka a “true warrior” as the leader of the office’s Street Crimes Unit.

Services are pending.

Lhotka is survived by his wife, Elena, and their son, Nicolas.