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Old 06-26-2006   #11
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 26
I heard through some friends who were involved in the accident that Laurie died this morning. My sincere condolences to all those involved.

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Old 06-26-2006   #12
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 157
That is very very sad to hear. My sincerest condolences go out to her family, friends and those involved at the scene.

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Old 06-26-2006   #13
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 2
Here's a link to todays article:
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Old 06-27-2006   #14
Fort Collins, CO
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 36
From Tuesday's Coloradoan
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Old 06-27-2006   #15
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heliodorus04's Avatar
The Ranch, Colorado
Paddling Since: 04
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,134
Very sorry to hear of this development.
God bless the friends and family.

If anyone knows any of the kayakers on the trip, I'd be interested to learn more about this accident.

I'm a second-season kayaker having trouble with "that could be me," which I know is always the case, but on a run that I know I might try, it's a little bit scary.
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Old 06-27-2006   #16
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 13
I did not know Laurie, but I received this email today. It is very sad news.

Laurie passed away early Monday, June 26 following a kayaking accident
on Saturday on the Cache la Poudre River in Colorado. She was comforted
by her family and dear friends.

She is survived by her husband Kirk Vincent, and siblings Betsy Wirt and
Ted Wirt.

A memorial service will be held in Boulder, Colorado on Friday, June 30
at 7 pm at the shelter at North Boulder Park, 900 Delwood. A second
memorial service will be held in Arizona at a later date.

Laurie was born on August 14, 1958. She was raised in Boylston,
Massachusetts and studied geology at Amherst College and hydrology at
the University of Arizona. She was passionate about life and loved
kayaking, gardening, conservation, skiing, collecting jadite greenware,
and cared deeply about her family and friends.

Laurie had a particular passion for the Verde River in Arizona. Those
wishing to send flowers, or to make a donation, might consider
contributing in Laurie’s name to the Nature Conservancy, 1510 E. Fort
Lowell, Tucson, Arizona, 85719.


Laurie Wirt, aqueous geochemist

U.S. Geological Survey
Geologic Division, Crustal Imaging and Characterization Team
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Old 06-28-2006   #17
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 5
About Laurie's death...

I was a college classmate of Laurie's. Although I didn't know her well in college, we chatted about kayaking for quite awhile at our 25th reunion in May, 2005--I'm from Missouri and do most of my paddling in the Midwest and Southeast. After reading everything related to the accident on Mountainbuzz, the newspaper accounts and the rafter's story, I'm still puzzled by the circumstances of her death. As far as I can tell, the lower Mishawaka section of the Poudre is apparently class III at best, more like class II, and Laurie--judging by her description of her whitewater experience--had been paddling enthusiastically for years and should have had no trouble negotiating that particular stretch of water. I just don't understand what happened.

If anyone out there can shed more light on this sad accident, I'd be grateful.

Thank you,

Michael Dee
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Old 06-29-2006   #18
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 480
Lower Mish is definately a class III run with sometimes challenging rapids. Stuff can happen even on class II runs but as of yet, haven't heard anything from people that were running with Laurie and just what really happened. I'm curious too.
Like it or not, all of us are the result of a sexual act.
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Old 06-29-2006   #19
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Summit, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,085
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I too am puzzled. The only things that I can think of are possibly getting knocked out by hitting a rock upside down, heart issues, seizures, or something of that sort. We were on the Poudre that day and put on shortly before this group; I don't know if it was one of the groups we talked to on the river but when we took out, we saw all the ambulances, rescue vehicles, etc. We wanted to check it out but chose not to get in the way of everything as it appeared that more qualified people were already there. I'm very curious as to the specifics of the accident; if anyone learns more, I'd like to hear.

My deepest condolences to the friends and family of Laurie.

"The world would be a better place if everyone kayaked."-Brad Ludden (Valhalla)
"You only get one chance to run a drop blind."-DD
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Old 06-29-2006   #20
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Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 580
I hope it is not to soon to speculate, if so I apologize. Based on the descriptions, I believe the hole that Laurie went into was the same hole I once got stuck in. I was an advanced beginner and it was my first time a hole held me in for a long time. I got windowshaded twice and when I finally running out of breath, I went to swim, panicked and forgot to pull my skirt. Just when I thought I suck in some water, I was able to release the skirt and immediately flushed. I can only imagine if I wasn't able to pull the skirt (due to panic) or if I recirced a few more times after I was out of the boat. Also, it is a long, bumpy swim below, which I found amazing how hard it was to get to where I wanted to go after being very exhausted in the hole.

It sounds like Laurie was a very experienced boater and had probably been caught in hydraulics before, so it very well could have been another issue such as hitting rocks, etc, but it was a lesson for me to remain calm when caught in scary hydraulics. It is important when caught to keep a cool head, take a few deep breathes, get your edge up way high and slowly try to work your way to the sides to the green water. If you flip, find the easy side to roll up, even if it is your offside and try again. If you swim, go deep and don't try to fight it on the surface. If you are a beginner and think you might someday find yourself in a hydraulic, it never hurts to go with more experienced boaters and practice in some smaller holes that will hold you.

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