Fryingpan crash victims died from drowning

Staff report

Two women from Columbus, Ohio, who were killed Saturday when their vehicle ran off the road and into the Fryingpan River died from drowning, Eagle County Coroner Kara Bettis said Monday after autopsies were performed.

“The cause of death was asphyxiation due to drowning. There was no trauma,” she said, referring to lack of injuries on the victims. There was no evidence that indicated either women suffered a medical issue that would have affected her ability to drive, Bettis said.

Kristina Herron, 64, and Yvonne Honeybrink, 71, were declared dead at the scene when Basalt Fire Department firefighters reached them shortly after 5 p.m. Saturday. Their 2016 Kia Sedona was northbound on Frying Pan Road when it went off the right side of the road, hit a delineator post and traveled another 70 feet over an embankment and into the river. The SUV was fully submerged. Bettis said it couldn’t be determined from the autopsy how long the women had been dead before they were recovered.

The Colorado State Patrol is investigating the accident but hadn’t determined as of 3 p.m. Monday which woman was driving. That wasn’t clear when the women’s bodies were recovered from the vehicle, said Basalt Deputy Fire Chief Pete Bradshaw.

“Based on the position of the victims at the time of recovery, it wasn’t clear to the first responders who was in the driver’s seat,” he said.

It is unclear from reports whether one or both of the victims unclipped their seat belts in an attempt to get out of the vehicle.