Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe said Current was in a private raft – not one operated by a commercial rafting company – when the raft got into some rapids, and she fell in and drowned. She’d been in the raft with a friend and the friend’s daughter, and was wearing a water vest, the sheriff said.
“It’s just an unfortunate event,” Hogrefe said. “Our hearts go out to the family. When the river is up high like this, the risk certainly increases,” he added.
The melting of heavy snowpack left over from a wet winter has water in the Rio Grande running fast this rafting season.
Current and her late husband Rod Current opened the Bodyworks by R&C vehicle bodyshop in 1984 “and worked it up together from there, and it’s still going strong,” said Bodyworks general manager David Ansell.
He said Cheryl Current was a well-known competitive firearms shooter. She also was a long-time dancer and then instructor at the Fishback Studio of the Dance in Albuquerque.
“She was just a fun-loving woman that enjoyed life and helping other people,” Ansell said. He said she was well-known in the Albuquerque community through her connections in competitive shooting and as a ballet teacher.
Fishback studio owner Kathie Anthony said Current had to give up dancing herself in recent years, but continued to help with the studio’s annual recitals at Popejoy Hall.
“Cheryl has been there every year we’ve had a performance on that stage, helping the dancers get ready, and taking pictures and loving everyone,” said Anthony.
“She inspired many people in the community with her love of dance,” Anthony also said.
Online tributes to Current included one from a niece who said she was “my shooting mentor and the mom I never had.” Another poster said, “She was pushing it right to the end and not afraid of anything!”
The morning of the day she died, Current posted a message on her Facebook page punctuated with two smiling emojis that said, “This is how summer should be, I love summer.” Below was an image of a beach overlaid with the words “Summer: Afternoon naps. Baseball. Water balloon fights. Bonfires. Hotdogs, popsicles, berries and beer. Road trips. Fresh cut grass. Beach. Love.”