Three missing in Colorado slide
COLLBRAN, Colo. – Rescue teams failed to find any sign Monday of three men missing after a ridge saturated with rain collapsed, sending mud sliding for 3 miles in a remote part of western Colorado.
Clancy Nichols, 51, a county road and bridge employee, his son Danny, 24, and Wes Hawkins, 46, have been missing since Sunday after the ridge collapsed. They went to check on damage from an initial slide near the edge of Grand Mesa, one of the world’s largest flat-topped mountains, after a rancher reported that his irrigation ditch had stopped flowing, Mesa County Sheriff Stan Hilkey said.
The search near the small town of Collbran has been hampered because only the lower third of the slide is stable. Even at the edges, the mud is 20 to 30 feet deep. It’s believed to be several hundred feet deep and about a half mile wide.
“Everyone on this mountain is praying for a miracle right now,” Hilkey said.
Deputies estimate that the entire ridge had been moving for most of Sunday before someone called to report the slide at 6:15 p.m. Hilkey believes runoff from Grand Mesa from recent rain triggered the slide.