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Rescue effort ends with second brother drowning in Westcliffe pond

By: TRACY HARMON, Pueblo Chieftain
September 4, 2017 Updated: September 5, 2017 at 6:09 am
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Two brothers drowned Sunday as one tried to rescue his younger sibling from a pond at Music Meadow Ranch. (Photo credit: CSFD PIO Twitter account)

WESTCLIFFE - Two brothers drowned Sunday as one tried to rescue his younger sibling from a pond at Music Meadow Ranch.

Rescue workers were called to the ranch at the base of Music Pass about 11:30 a.m.  after a woman called 911, saying two men had been swimming in the family pond and could not be found, said Custer County Sheriff Shannon Byerly.

A few people were swimming in the 2-acre pond when Weldon Rusher, 20, swam out beyond the others and at some point began to struggle. His brother, Benjamin Rusher, 28, swam out to help.

Others at the gathering rushed into the water to help, all diving below the surface to find Weldon Rusher. When Ben Rusher did not resurface, others believed he had swum to shore, Byerly said.

When they realized neither brother had made it out of the water, they called 911.

County emergency medical, fire and sheriff's personnel floated the surface of the pond in ice rescue gear. The county Sheriff's Dive Team responded with a boat, and two divers spent more than an hour in the 41-degree water.

"The search went on throughout the night hours in a tireless effort to locate the men," Byerly said. "Custer County divers returned to the water at daylight and spent the entire morning searching the pond, which contained a heavy amount of foliage, which reduced visibility."

Byerly said the Colorado Springs Fire Department's Heavy Rescue Dive team responded Monday morning, deploying a specialty craft outfitted with sonar. About 12:40 p.m., Ben Rusher's body was recovered. About 2 p.m., Weldon Rusher was pulled from the water.

Read the full story at chieftain.com.

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