Colorado School of Mines student dies in kayaking accident

Posted by Spalding Hurst

July 22, 2009

Claire Trageser 

The Denver Post 
UPDATED: 07/19/2009 03:07:12 PM MDT

A 21-year-old Colorado School of Mines student died after a kayaking accident on the Big South Fork of the Cache La Poudre River near Fort Collins, according to the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office.

Derk Slottow drowned, said Diane Fairman, the chief deputy coroner for Larimer County.

On Saturday morning Slottow, who was the President of the CSM Kayaking Club, went underwater and hit his head, the Sheriff’s Office said.

A friend, who was traveling in a boat behind him, pulled him from the water and started CPR.

The friend then left to get help, hiking almost 2 miles to the Corral Creek Trailhead where he found a Rocky Mountain National Park Ranger.

At around noon, that ranger called the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office dispatch for help.

Larimer County Search and Rescue, Colorado State Park Rangers and the North Park Volunteer Fire Department helped to recover Slottow’s body.

Slottow was a passionate kayaker and a dedicated civil engineering student, said Dave Brokering, Slottow’s friend and Vice President of the CSM Kayaking Club .

“He was one of those people where if you were fortunate enough to become friends with him, he’d always be there for you,” Brokering said.

Slottow was interning for the McLaughlin Whitewater Design Group, which designs whitewater courses and parks.

Slottow hoped to continue this work after graduating, Brokering said. In the fall he would have started his fifth year at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden.

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