2 hunters charged in Montrose County motorcyclist death

MONTROSE, Colo. - Two men face charges in the death of a motorcyclist who ran into a rope and chain the men had allegedly stretched across a southwestern Colorado highway to retrieve an elk carcass, authorities said.

Trever Rawson, 34, of Fountain, died Oct. 12 when he struck the chest-high line across Colorado 92 in Montrose County, the Colorado State Patrol said in a news release.

The two suspects were indicted this month. The Colorado State Patrol said the indictments come after months of collaborative work among Troopers in the Colorado State Patrol's Investigative Services Section and the Montrose troop office, Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers, and investigators from the District Attorney's office in Montrose. 

The charges allege Mark Valdez, 47, of Delta, and Kevin Keener, 43, of Anton, had attached a line to a pickup on one side of the road and to the elk on a nearby hillside on the other side of the road and were trying to drag the elk up to the road when Rawson was killed.

"He [Rawson] collided with the chain and rope, which were stretched tightly across the road at chest height. The collision threw Rawson from his motorcycle, knocking off his helmet and causing fatal injuries," the Colorado State Patrol said.

Investigators allege that Valdez and Keener failed to render aid, did not call 911 at any time, and attempted to persuade a teenage witness to cover up their involvement.

Valdez has been charged with failed to render aid after accident involving death, vehicular homicide, manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, accessory to crime, willful destruction of big game wildlife, reckless endangerment, waste of big game wildlife and transfer of a license.

Keener is charged with vehicular homicide, manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, accessory to crime, willful destruction of big game wildlife, reckless endangerment, waste of big game wildlife and transfer of a license.

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