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The original item was published from 6/19/2016 4:54:52 PM to 7/25/2016 12:10:01 PM.

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San Miguel County Sheriff News

Posted on: June 19, 2016

[ARCHIVED] Man Collapses, Dies While Hiking Near Telluride

Man Collapses, Dies While Hiking Near Telluride

Contact: Susan Lilly, Public Information Officer 970-729-2028

June 19, 2016 -- (Telluride, CO) – A Norwood man collapsed and died while hiking with a friend near Telluride late Sunday morning.

Long-time San Miguel County employee Mr. Richard Dennison, 58 years-old, was hiking this morning with his friend in the Woods Lake area down valley from Telluride. The friend told Sheriff’s Deputies that both noted being fatigued about half way into their hike and took a couple of breaks before continuing.

At one point the two thought they might be off course, so the friend advised Mr. Dennison to stay put, and he went up a bit to check the trail. When he returned just a few minutes later, he saw Mr. Dennison lying on the ground unresponsive, not breathing regularly, and with fixed pupils. The friend immediately began CPR and then activated 911 at 11:31am. He was also able to yell to hikers he heard in the distance who responded and assisted with CPR until Sheriff’s Deputies, EMS and Fire arrived, hiked up and reached the patient about thirty minutes later.

Nearly two dozen people responded from multiple agencies including Sheriff’s Deputies, Search and Rescue personnel, Fire and EMS personnel of the Telluride Fire Protection District (TFPD), as well as the hikers.

TFPD Deputy Chief John Cheroskee was one of the first responders on scene. He said teamwork and communication between the agencies went extraordinarily well. “You could tell we’ve been working together for years. I just wish we had a better outcome.”

Sheriff Bill Masters said that as a fellow county employee this hit home. “On behalf of all San Miguel County employees, we are are saddened by this loss and extend our condolences to Mr. Dennison’s family.”


The San Miguel Sheriff’s Office, located in Telluride, Colorado and established in 1883, serves 7,800 residents and countless visitors across the 1,288 square miles of San Miguel County. Sheriff Bill Masters has been serving as the county’s elected Sheriff since 1980.

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