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Two charged in Colorado motorcycle death

MONTROSE, Colo. – Two men face charges in the death of a motorcyclist who ran into a rope and chain the men had allegedly stretched across a southwestern Colorado highway to retrieve an elk carcass, authorities said Friday.

Trever Rawson, 34, of Fountain died Oct. 12 when he struck the chest-high line across Colorado 92 in Montrose County, the Colorado State Patrol said in a statement.

An indictment was returned April 10. The reason for the delay in bringing charges was not clear, and authorities declined to discuss the case Friday.

The charges allege Mark Valdez, 47, of Delta and Kevin Keener, 43, of Anton had attached the line to a pickup on one side of the road and to the elk on the other and were dragging the elk toward the road when Rawson was killed.

Neither man immediately returned phone messages Friday.

The indictment says Valdez frantically waved at Rawson from the pickup when he saw him approach, the Montrose Daily Press reported.

The impact threw Rawson from the motorcycle and knocked off his helmet, authorities said. He died at the scene.

The indictment alleges that neither Valdez nor Keener called 911 but says a motorist who came upon the scene did. The indictment also alleges that Valdez told a teenager who was helping retrieve the elk not to tell anyone what happened.

Valdez and Keener both face charges of vehicular homicide, criminally negligent homicide, manslaughter, accessory to a crime and reckless endangerment. Valdez also faces charges of failing to render aid after a fatal accident and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

The indictment alleges Valdez gave the teen alcohol and marijuana.

Both men also face hunting-related charges including willful destruction of big game wildlife and wasting big game wildlife. The indictment says the men had killed two elk, including the one being dragged, when Rawson was killed.

It was not clear if the rope and chain that Rawson struck were linked end-to-end or intertwined.