Hunters indicted in connection to highway chain that killed motorcyclist

By: lisa walton lisa.walton@gazette.com
April 18, 2014 Updated: April 18, 2014 at 6:45 pm
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Two hunters have been indicted on homicide and manslaughter charges after investigators said a motorcyclist ran into a chain the two had allegedly stretched across a highway in southern Colorado while trying to retrieve an elk.

Mark Valdez, 47 and Kevin Keener, 43 face multiple felony counts in the October 2013 death of 34-year-old Trever Rawson of Fountain. Charges include vehicular homicide, manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.

The Colorado State Patrol said the men allegedly tied a chain and a rope to an elk they'd shot from a nearby hillside and were attempting to pull it across Colorado 92, near mile marker 46, when Rawson, who was westbound on the highway, collided with the chain and rope, which were stretched across both shoulders of the highway at chest height, troopers said.

He was thrown off his bike, his helmet was knocked off and he died on scene from his injuries, state troopers said.

Investigators also allege that the men failed to help Rawson after the crash, did not call 911 and attempted to persuade a teenager to assist them in covering up the cause of the crash.

A bond hearing for both men is set for April 21 in Montrose County.

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