Clark's Fork River drowning victim identified

2014-07-02T17:50:00Z 2014-07-03T13:32:07Z Clark's Fork River drowning victim identifiedGazette Staff The Billings Gazette

Carbon County Sheriff’s Office has released the name of the Bridger woman who drowned Tuesday after falling into the Clark’s Fork River.

Lt. Josh McQuillan identified the woman as Mary Sanders, 52, of Bridger.

Mcquillan said Sanders died after falling into the Clark’s Fork River at the fishing access site south of Bridger on Tuesday.

She was sitting with friends at the time, got up, slipped and fell into the river, he said.

Mcquillan said the sheriff’s office received a report of a woman who had possibly fallen into the river at 6:31 p.m. Multiple emergency crews responded and started an extensive search and rescue operation, according to the post.

About 90 minutes later, the woman was found three miles from the access site. She was pronounced dead after she was brought to the shoreline.

Authorities are still waiting for an autopsy report, but Mcquillan said “the cause of death was drowning.”

Agencies involved in the recovery include the Carbon County Sheriff’s Office, Carbon County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue, Bridger Police, Joliet Police, Bridger Fire, Clark’s Fork Valley EMS, Fromberg Fire, Belfry Fire and several community members. A helicopter with three spotters, several boats and jet skis were used.

The county posted on Facebook that people should use extreme caution because the river is running very high and fast.

Mcquillan urged people to exercise caution as well. “If you’re going to be out by the river, be careful,” he said.

Copyright 2014 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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