MCKENZIE BRIDGE, Oregon (STPNS) -- MCKENZIE BRIDGE: A rafting accident in Carmen Reservoir took the life of a 16 year old Scio boy on Sunday, according to a Linn County Sheriff’s Office report. Linn County Undersheriff Bruce Riley said deportees responded at approximately 1:30 p.m. on August 25 to a water rescue on the McKenzie River near Carmen Reservoir. The reservoir is located in the Willamette National Forest, off of Hwy 126.
Deputies learned that Jeremiah Dale Eatherton drowned while rafting with a friend in the river approximately 100 yards upstream from the bridge at Carmen Reservoir. Deputies described this area of the river as very cold with rapids moving and churning very fast over rocks and downed trees.
Police said their investigation revealed that Eatherton and his friend, Daniel Sutton, 20, from Scio, had successfully floated the section of the river once and went back to float it a second time when their four-person inflatable raft became stuck on a tree.
Both were flipped out of the raft causing Eatherton to be swept away by the current. Sutton was able to make it safely to shore and called for help.
Eatherton’s body was recovered a short distance downstream. Both Eatherton and Sutton were wearing personal floatation devices.
Eatherton’s body was taken to the Sweet Home Funeral Chapel.
Members of the US Forest Service, Lane County Sheriff’s Office and the Black Butte Police Dept assisted the deputies.
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