Update: Man dies after falling into tree well on Black Mountain

Update, 2 p.m.: The wife of a mid-to-late 60s male that died Thursday evening says her husband fell into a tree well while trying to use the winch on the front of their side-by-side on Black Mountain.

The woman, who contacted the Craig Press Friday afternoon, said that they were not in separate vehicles like the initial report from first responders stated, and that the side-by-side did not slide off the road.

“We were in our side-by-side and couldn’t get through part of the road because of the snowdrift…it was just so much,” the woman, who declined to provide her name, said. “We turned around and my husband got out to try and use the winch on the front of the side-by-side to help us get unstuck.

“When he tried the other side of the side-by-side, he fell into a tree well…I couldn’t reach him.”

Tree well accidents are typically tied to a skiing or snowboarding accident. However, the couple was not skiing or snowboarding on Black Mountain.

According to the National Association of Ski Areas, a deep snow, or tree well immersion accident, occurs when a skier or rider falls into an area of deep unconsolidated snow, becomes immobilized and suffocates.

In 2020, the Steamboat Pilot and Today reported a man died after falling into a tree well while skiing at Steamboat Resort.

She added that while running for help, she was on the phone with 9-1-1. While providing her location to first responders, she says two men pulled her husband out of the tree well and began performing CPR while waiting for the ambulance and Classic Air Medical out of Steamboat Springs to arrive.

Below is the original story from Thursday evening’s incident.

A male in his mid-to-late 60s died Thursday evening after his side-by-side slid off the road on Timberlane Drive on Black Mountain near Wilderness Ranch, according to Moffat County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Chip McIntyre.

The call for assistance came in around 5 p.m. Thursday after the man’s side-by-side went off the road and into a ditch. The man’s wife was in another vehicle and could not climb down to her unresponsive husband, leading to the call.

Moffat County Search and Rescue, Craig Fire/Rescue, an ambulance out of Memorial Regional Health, and Classic Air Medical out of Steamboat Springs were dispatched to the scene. Initially, the report sounded like it would be a technical rescue, McIntyre said.

“The man reportedly fell down and couldn’t get back up and was unresponsive, so his wife went and got help,” McIntyre said. “By the time she called for help, some bystanders were assisting and performing CPR, but he had succumbed to his injuries.”

According to McIntyre, the man owned a cabin in the area. The man’s name is being withheld until family is notified, and an autopsy is performed.

This is a developing story. The Craig Press will have more information as it becomes available.

Managing Editor Joshua Carney can be reached at 970-875-1790 or

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Craig and Moffat County make the Craig Press’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.