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Jessica Prokop

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July 10, 2013
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Woman recovered from South Umpqua River

WINSTON — A woman, who witnesses said slipped and fell on rocks and went underwater, was recovered Wednesday afternoon from a South Umpqua River swimming hole at Riverbend Park.

People at the scene who knew the woman identified her as a 30-year-old Winston woman who was playing in the river with three young children.

She was taken by ambulance to Mercy Medical Center in Roseburg. Authorities have not yet released her name or confirmed the drowning. Winston Police Chief Scott Gugel said late this afternoon police had not been notified the woman died.

It appeared the woman was trying to get her children out of deeper water when she fell and went under the surface, he said. Witnesses said the woman was under the water for five to seven minutes, Gugel said.

A 911 call was made shortly after 2 p.m. Winston police officers and Winston-Dillard Fire District firefighters responded. Four emergency workers carried the motionless woman across the river to the park and tried to revive her.

Bystanders were alerted to the woman in the water by children screaming for help.

A man, who was walking his dogs at the park, dove into water about 10-feet deep to reach the woman and bring her to the surface. He declined to give his name to The News-Review.

Virginia Montano of National City, Calif., and her daughter Carolina Barragan, 27, of Roseburg were at the park for a barbecue. Montano said they heard the children screaming and waded across the river to perform CPR on the woman, Montano said.

“The daughter told us her mom was drowning. She was also bleeding from her nose,” Montano said.

Montano said other witnesses said the woman slipped and fell on rocks before going underwater.

Nikki Pierce, 24, of Myrtle Creek, who said she was related to the victim, said she was on the opposite side of the river with her baby and the woman’s youngest child when she heard the children calling for help. She said she ran down to the river to help get the other children out.

Pierce said she, the victim and their children had been at the river for only about 20 minutes.

The first drowning of the summer in Douglas County occurred Sunday. Alicar Romero Lopez-Herrera, 34, of Van Nuys, Calif., drowned in the Umpqua River near the Yellow Creek boat ramp off Highway 138 West.

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The News-Review Updated Jul 22, 2013 10:01AM Published Jul 10, 2013 07:58PM Copyright 2013 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.