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Sep-02-2007 22:51printcomments

Stayton Woman Drowns in North Santiam River

Two companions with the victim were not injured.

Drowning investigation

(ALBANY, Ore.) - A Stayton woman drowned today in the North Santiam River approximately five miles West of Lyons. Linn County Sheriff Tim Mueller says dispatchers received the report at 2:26 PM that 27-year old Jessica Lynn Liddell, and two companions were floating on rubber inner tubes down the North Santiam River.

"They came to a bend in the river and through a set of rapids. The water forced the three towards shore where Jessica became caught in logs and debris."

Mueller says the current in this stretch of water is very swift and the force sucked Mrs. Liddell under about five feet of water.

Her companions, Tera Watson of Stayton and Jamie Fish of Portland were uninjured.

Personnel from the Lyons and Jefferson Fire Departments, Turner Police Department and the Linn and Marion County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene.

Members of the Linn County Sheriff’s Office Dive Team recovered Mrs. Liddell’s body at approximately 4:50 PM. They say the recovery was difficult due to the amount of debris.

"A chainsaw was used to cut through a large log to allow divers to reach her," Mueller said.

"Deputies reported a rope that had been used to tie the inner tubes together was tangled in the debris and had caught around Mrs. Liddell’s right ankle which likely prevented her from resurfacing."

Weddle Funeral Home in Stayton transported the deceased pending further arrangements.

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