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Gross Reservoir closed to recreation for several weeks after fatal accident

The closure includes on-water recreation, hiking and picnicking.

BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. — Gross Reservoir will be closed for several weeks following a fatal accident earlier this month at the Gross Reservoir Expansion Project that claimed the life of an engineer.

About 12:30 a.m. June 18, dispatchers received a call about a possible vehicle crash near the Gross Reservoir Dam from someone who saw the headlights of a vehicle rolling down an embankment near the dam.

Crews immediately began searching the water and shoreline for any sign of the driver or vehicle but were unsuccessful. Eventually, using sonar equipment, they determined the truck was in water that was 43 feet deep.

RELATED: Driver found dead in Gross Reservoir identified

Rescue divers reached the cab of the truck and recovered the body of the driver, who was identified as 28-year-old Matthew Liu.

"This incident will have a lasting impact on all of us. We extend our thoughts to friends and family of the engineer who tragically lost his life and recognize that it’s going to be a long road for many, especially our extended family at Kiewit Barnard," said Denver Water CEO Jim Lochhead.

"We now ask for the public’s patience as our contractor works to safely remove the vehicle from the reservoir and so that all involved parties can thoroughly investigate and make any changes necessary to ensure another accident like this does not occur again," Lochhead said.

According to the Colorado State Patrol, the truck was hauling 7,000 pounds of rocks when the road gave out and the truck rolled into the reservoir.

Denver Water said on Wednesday that a long-term closure was essential as crews work to remove equipment involved in the incident from the reservoir. The closure includes on-water recreation, hiking and picnicking.

The first step in the process includes a survey of the area to ensure the resources brought in are capable of extracting such large equipment from the "complex underwater environments."

That survey will help determine the best and safest method for removing the equipment with the least amount of impact to the reservoir.

RELATED: Settlement reached in fight over Gross Reservoir expansion

Other Denver Water recreation facilities are not impacted and people are encouraged to visit those locations during the closure.


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