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Aug-04-2014 22:35printcomments

North Salem High Student Matthew Tufts Tragically Drowns in Mill Creek

Matthew was located approximately 100 feet downstream from where he had gone into the water.

Mill Creek Salem Oregon
Over 100 family and friends of North Salem High School student Matthew Tufts held a vigil Monday evening after the teen tragically drowned after jumping into Mill Creek Sunday evening.

(SALEM, Ore. ) - Over 100 family and friends of North Salem High School student Matthew Tufts held a vigil Monday evening after the teen tragically drowned after jumping into Mill Creek Sunday evening.

As Salem-News.com was first to report the incident as rescue crews frantically searched for the 16-year-old into the early morning hours Monday, divers from the Newberg Fire Departments water rescue team found Matt's body just after 9:30 a.m. Monday.

Salem Police said Matthew had been swimming with friends in the Mill Creek at the east end of the Lakeside Village Mobile Home Park in the 3200 block of Turner Rd SE. He got into the water, and when he did not get back out his friends searched for him then summoned help.

Salem Police and Fire Departments responded with a water rescue boat, and checked the area, and requested assistance from the Newberg Fire Department water rescue team to evaluate the situation Sunday night. Due to darkness and hazardous conditions in Mill Creek, search efforts stopped around 2:00 a.m.

Matthew was located approximately 100 feet downstream from where he had gone into the water. Matthew's family was present at the scene when he was found.

The Salem Police and Fire Departments would like to remind those who are swimming in area streams, creeks and rivers that as the summer progresses, and water levels change, submerged hazards such as rocks and tree branches can become even more hazardous. Please swim with caution, and use a life jacket.

UPDATE: 10:55 a.m.:

Salem Police have confirmed to Salem-News.com that they have recovered the body of a 16-year-old boy who drowned while swimming Sunday in Mill Creek in SE Salem.

Police have not said where the body was exactly found, or the identity of the victim. The boy was last seen jumping into the creek near the Lakeside Community Mobile Home Park, located at the 3200 block of Turner Rd. SE around 9:00 p.m. Police said the boy jumped into the water and never resurfaced. Police said the water depth of Mill Creek ranges from areas of 2-3 feet to pools that are 10-15 feet deep. As Salem-News.com was first to report Sunday night, Salem Police, Salem Firefighters, and a rescue dive team from the Newberg Fire Department spent the overnight hours searching Mill Creek in SE Salem for a teenage boy who is presumed drowned.

Salem Police and firefighters were called out to Lakeside Community Mobile Home Park, located at the 3200 block of Turner Rd. SE around 9:00 p.m. Police said the boy jumped into the water and never resurfaced. Police said the water depth of Mill Creek ranges from areas of 2-3 feet to pools that are 10-15 feet deep. Salem-News.com First Report:

Salem Firefighters and Salem Police are conducting a search of Mill Creek and other waterways in SE Salem in and around Cascade Gateway Park for a teen that has been reported missing.

A rescue boat has been brought in to search for what Salem-News.com has learned is a male teenager. Salem-News.com in on scene, and an active search for the teenager is being conducted in Mill Creek upstream and at Walter Wirth Lake inside the park. Rescue crews are also searching ditches and other grassy areas in and around the park.

Crews are also searching Mill Creek around the Costco on Hawthorne Ave, and just behind the Costco property to the north Shelton Ditch.

Those traveling on Interstate 5 near the Mission Street exit, and those traveling on Mission Street, and Hawthorne Ave, should be aware of extra police and fire equipment in the area.

UPDATE 11:14 p.m.: The Newberg Fire Department dive team has been called into assist and evaluate the situation.

UPDATE: 12:30 a.m.: Search crews have called off the search for the night. Units will remain in the area in case something is discovered overnight. Salem-News.com will have more information in the morning.

UPDATE: 8:00 a.m.: Search and Rescue crews will be back out searching for a 16-year-old boy who they believed drowned Sunday night while swimming in Mill Creek.

UPDATE 10:55: Salem Police have recovered the boys body from Mill Creek.

Salem-News.com will have more on this story as soon as it becomes available.

Video from the scene Sunday night by Salem-News.com's Jerry Freeman




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