Greeley sheep farmer killed in ATV crash in North Routt County
Steamboat Springs — A Greeley man running food and supplies to his Peruvian sheepherders in a remote part of North Routt County was killed after he rolled his ATV on a steep and rugged U.S. Forest Service Road.
Routt County Undersheriff Ray Birch said John W. Bartmann, 50, was found dead Tuesday pinned underneath his ATV about 11 miles northeast of Columbine off of Forest Service Road 550 near Whiskey Park, close to the Wyoming border.
Birch said Bartmann was last seen alive Sunday evening by his sheepherders after he made two supply runs from his nearby camp.
Investigators think Bartmann was on a third supply run when he was killed in the crash.
Birch said the sheepherders who were working for Bartmann started looking for him late Tuesday morning after he did not show up late Sunday or during the day Monday.
The sheepherders found his body Tuesday after a search.
“According to the investigators, the ATV was loaded very heavily with supplies, which they feel contributed to this accident,” Birch said. “He was trying to negotiate an area that was fairly steep, and they believe the weight of the ATV with all these supplies caused the ATV to roll.”
Bartmann’s autopsy is scheduled for Thursday.
The Sheriff’s Office said the accident should serve as a reminder to ATV users of the dangers of carrying too much weight or modifying their vehicles.
Routt County Search and Rescue volunteers and Sheriff’s Office deputies traveled to the crash site and assisted in the recovery efforts.
Birch said Bartmann had a contract with the U.S. Forest Service to have his sheep graze here in Routt County.
He would travel to the area and camp while overseeing the sheepherders.
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