It’s been a rough start to the year

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Community members began sending out prayers for healing on Monday evening when the news of a tragic car accident on Put Hill began circulating.

As with any incident, there are always rumors. Eventually, the factual information becomes known, which you will find reported in this week’s SUN.

It’s clear that support for our community extends beyond our county lines, with the Bayfield Brigade (Wolverines soccer team supporters) posting on Facebook: “Please keep our Pagosa Springs soccer family in your prayers. A player was in a head on collision tonight. He was flown out for emergency surgery. We may be rivals, but he has played a big role in our soccer community.”

While Pagosans continue to pray for healing for those involved in Monday’s accident, another community is mourning the loss of one of their own involved in that tragedy.

It’s been a rough and difficult 30 days here in Pagosa Country. 

A tragic motor vehicle accident claimed one life while forever changing the lives of others. 

A 14-year-old Indigenous male is missing and is considered a runaway. 

Another man was found deceased, which brings closure on one hand and more questions on another. This is an active and ongoing investigation.

Our community experienced an officer-involved shooting. That is certainly an uncommon thing here in Pagosa Country.

We also learned of the tragic passing of a first responder from our area who lost her battle with PTSD. After an incident on Wolf Creek Pass, she developed PTSD, which is common in many first responders.

We’ve had some storms and experienced power outages along with multiple accidents over the past few weeks.

There was even a search and rescue operation involving a snowmobiler that ended successfully.

When tragedies and struggles of this nature strike, our first responders are always the first to show up.

The Pagosa Springs Police Department, Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office, Pagosa Fire Protection District, Archuleta County Combined Dispatch, Upper San Juan Search and Rescue, Archuleta County Coroner’s Office, Colorado State Patrol, Colorado Department of Transportation, Archuleta County Public Works, Rise Against Violence, Town of Pagosa Springs staff and crews, Colorado Bureau of Investigation, Archuleta School District along with assistance from psychologists and counselors, Pagosa Springs Medical Center and its EMS/ambulance services, and Axis Health System provide services in our time of emergency and need. 

Utility crews and public employees went above and beyond the call of duty, working around the clock to clear and repair damaged power lines and restore services in recent storms. We are grateful for those who we can depend on to step up to the challenge of opening roadways, restoring services and keeping us safe regardless of the weather.

We must have been without electricity at our house for about six hours last Monday. There’s nothing like driving your snowplow up your road and finding a La Plata Electric Association vehicle riding up behind you coming to check your power lines and the staff informing you that power should be restored within the hour.

That same day, our neighbors came to the rescue when our snowblower decided to quit working.

There is something special about living here in Pagosa Country, and that is the incredible heart of this community’s members and their unwavering dedication to helping each other.

This community has experienced a bit of a rough patch lately, yet our citizens are resilient and continue to pull together and show support of others.

It’s time to heal.

Terri Lynn Oldham House