A large family gathering at the Kendall Mountain Recreation Area turned tragic on Friday evening, July 2, when a 2-year-old boy from Farmington was swept away in the Animas River and drowned.
Sheriff Sue Kurtz identified the victim as Roman Martinez.
Kurtz said the family had just arrived and set up camp in a circle formed by recreational vehicles.
They were playing a ball game when the ball went into the river.
“A couple of adults ran downstream to get the ball,” Kurtz said, and while that happened, they lost track of a pair of 2-year-old twins.
Kurtz said they found one twin near the river and asked her where her brother Roman was, “and she just pointed out to the water.”
Kurtz said the call came into the sheriff's office at 6:10 p.m.
“I was just a couple blocks away,” Kurtz said. Some family members were searching in the bushes and elsewhere, but Kurtz deduced the boy must have fallen into the river.
“So it became a river search immediately,” Kurtz said.
The sheriff's office, Silverton Ambulance crew, the fire department and search-and-rescue team joined in the effort.
About 25 to 30 minutes later the body was found near the end of the Pittsburgh Mine road, about a mile and a half downstream.
“They (emergency responders) did CPR and everything they could,” Kurtz said, but the boy couldn’t be saved.