A 45-year-old Silverton man died earlier this week after his car went off the road and into the upper Animas River.
San Juan County Coroner Keri Metzler said Gerardo Acosta went for a drive Sunday night and did not return home.
On Monday morning, Acosta’s 1986 Ford F-150 was found upside down in the Animas River, off County Road 2, which follows the river north of Silverton. His body was found downstream. Metzler said an autopsy will be performed Wednesday.
San Juan County Sheriff Bruce Conrad said it appears the left front tire of Acosta’s pickup went off the edge of the road, causing the vehicle to go off the narrow, steep road, which has a slope of about 50 degrees. The pickup then went about 10 feet down into the river.
Conrad said the upper Animas was running high. A gauge at Silverton says the river was running about 500 to 600 cubic feet per second earlier this week. Acosta’s body was found about a mile downstream, Conrad said.
Speed is not considered a factor in the crash, Conrad said.
“He didn’t seem to be going fast at all,” he said.
Colorado State Patrol is leading the investigation. Capt. Adrian Driscoll said investigators believe alcohol was a factor in the crash.
Conrad said Acosta was a beloved community member in Silverton, a firefighter and a father. He has lived in the mountain town about 15 years, Conrad said.
“Everyone has so much love for this family,” he said.
A “Gerardo Memorial fund” has been set up to help the family at Citizen State Bank.