Man drowns in pond near Breckenridge |

Man drowns in pond near Breckenridge

BRECKENRIDGE – Doctors pronounced a 25-year-old Silverthorne man dead Wednesday night after he apparently drowned when his truck careened into a tailings pond along Tiger Road.

According to Colorado State Patrol Cpl. Joe Hurt, Paul Lee Sweeny III, was westbound along the dirt road around 6:30 p.m. when he drove off the right side into a ditch, up a steep embankment, back onto the road and off the left side.

The vehicle then went down another embankment, flipped and landed in a pond near the confluence of the North and Middle forks of the Swan River.

Bystanders tried to get the man out of his 2002 Tacoma pickup truck before firefighters and medical personnel from the Red, White and Blue Fire Department arrived.

They extricated Sweeny from the truck, which was in about four feet of water. The man was unresponsive and was pronounced dead at Summit Medical Center in Frisco.

A Summit Dive Rescue team then took to the cold water to see if there were other passengers.

According to Hurt, Sweeny’s driver’s license had been revoked, and his truck bore license plates from Virginia. He had moved to Summit County four or five months ago, said County Coroner Joanne Richardson.

Excessive speed and alcohol might have played a role in the accident, Hurt said. An autopsy is scheduled for today.

Jane Stebbins can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 228, or

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