UTE PASS, Colo. - Right in the middle of the Friday evening rush to head west into the mountains on Highway 24, 53-year-old John Collins was heading home from work to have dinner with his wife.
"He had just called me, in fact I had a message on the phone at about 5:15," said Dana Collins, his wife.
But there were no more calls or messages. John never made it home.
"I thought maybe he was stuck at the Red Cross shelter or something like that," Dana said.
But her husband of 22-years had been caught as a flash flood poured down the highway, tossing cars along like rafts on a river. El Paso County sheriff's deputies say he was found buried beneath debris. We don't know if Collins left his vehicle on his own or if the debris and water forced him from it. It was determined that he drowned.
"Just a part of life. Death is a part of life," Dana said. "I just hope it was quick."
John was known as a gentle giant. Always ready to help. Every Christmas he would dress up like Santa for the Ute Pass Kiwanis club. His wife says while he owned a concrete business, he loved to garden.
Dana says she plans on spreading his ashes in his garden.
There will be a remembrance for John on Saturday, August 24th at 10 A.M.
It will be held here:
Aspen Valley Ranch 1150 S. West St., Woodland Park, CO 80863