Body of missing Texas teen recovered from Colorado canyon

By Keith Coffman DENVER (Reuters) - Recovery crews in Colorado on Wednesday retrieved the body of an 18-year-old Texas man who was killed when his truck went off a treacherous mountain pass, near where another motorist plunged to his death in February, authorities said. Edgar Alfredo Vargas was reported missing on Friday, and his truck was spotted at the bottom of a canyon off Red Mountain Pass in southwest Colorado, Ouray County spokeswoman Marti Whitmore said in a statement. Whitmore said the search was hampered by the steep, rugged terrain. The vehicle was not visible from the road and a helicopter crew initially failed to spot the wreckage, she said. Red Mountain Pass, one of the highest paved passes in the continental United States, crests at an elevation of 11,000 feet in the San Juan Mountains. It features switchbacks, sheer cliffs, and sections of the roadway lack shoulders or guardrails. It is often closed in the winter due to heavy snow and avalanches, and in warm weather months by rock falls. In February, a Danish man was killed when he drove his rental car off the pass near where Vargas died. A Phoenix television station cited Vargas's relatives there as saying he had been on his way from El Paso to Grand Junction, Colorado, about 90 miles north from where his body was found. Whitmore said it is unclear if weather played a role in the Vargas crash, adding that an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death is pending. (Reporting by Keith Coffman; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Eric Walsh)

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