Coroner: Kayaker died from drowning

Staff report

Jerry Young’s cause of death during an accident on the Fryingpan River on Sunday was drowning, Eagle County Coroner Kara Bettis announced Tuesday.

Young, 63, was kayaking with a companion between Seven Castles and Basalt when an unknown mishap occurred. The companion had gone through some rapids and was waiting downstream for Young. When he appeared, he was out of his kayak and face up in the water, according to a friend of Young’s who talked to the other kayaker.

The empty kayak and body were spotted by a bicyclist at the Pueblo Bridge and by numerous people at the Riverside Grill. Two men near the confluence of the Fryingpan and Roaring Fork rivers pulled Young’s body out of the water. Civilians and emergency responders couldn’t resuscitate Young.

Young was wearing a wetsuit, a helmet and personal flotation device, according to Basalt Fire Department responders. Bettis said it was unknown if Young was knocked unconscious prior to drowning.

Young split time between Grand Junction and Snowmass, where he was a ski instructor during winters.