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Aug-16-2010 01:14printcomments

Unidentified Man Drowns at Wagon Wheel Park

The victim is described as an adult, Hispanic male.


(MOLALLA, Ore.) - A drowning at Wagon Wheel Park in Molalla, led to the response of both Molalla Fire personnel and Clackamas County Sheriff's deputies tonight at about 7:00 p.m. this evening.

The Park is located on the Molalla River at the intersection with Highway 213.

The circumstances of the drowning are unknown, according to a press release issued Sunday:

"The victim was found accidentally by a man and woman who were swimming at the park. The couple was diving in a slow moving section of the river that is about seven to eight feet deep when the woman spotted a body on the river bottom. She alerted her boyfriend, who dove in the water, recovered the victim's body and started the alert for a medical response.

"Attempts by medical personnel to resuscitate the victim were unsuccessful. The victim has not been identified. How long he was in the water is not known either.

"The victim is described as an adult, Hispanic male dressed in denim shorts, white socks and a black tank-top. He was seen at the park just prior to being found in the river, but there were no witnesses at the park who claimed to know the man.

"The victim has been transported to the State Medical Examiner's Office."

Source: News Release from: Clackamas Co. Sheriff's Office

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Vic August 17, 2010 8:47 am (Pacific time)

I know exactly where this drowning occurred...the same place dozens have occurred over the years. I would bet that this spot is the site of a large majority of Molalla River drownings. It is in the hole just upstream of the bridge. The river comes in rapidly on the left side, creating a whirlpool effect. The hole is about 14' deep. The sides are steep and it is easy to slip into deep water. On the right side there is a clay ledge that the river has undercut substantially, so that if the whirlpool effect circles you under there, you can be trapped. All these drownings could br avoided if the county would fill that hole even half-way and break the hydraulic whirlpool effect. How much would a few dump trucks of rock and a little backhoe work be ? As a kayaker, I have come to really respect the power of currents and ledge effects on swimmers...I am actually surprised that there are not many more drownings than there are.

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