Wolf Point teen drowns in Fort Peck dredge

2011-07-06T13:05:00Z 2011-07-06T21:50:26Z Wolf Point teen drowns in Fort Peck dredgeBy CHELSEA KROTZER Of The Gazette Staff The Billings Gazette

The Valley County sheriff has identified a Wolf Point teenager who drowned as Blair Anthony Dorner, 18.

Sheriff Glen Meier said Dorner drowned while swimming in the Fort Peck Dredge Cuts on the Fourth of July. He was swimming in the second dredge below the dam with a group of friends.

"It's a gathering for young kids, a big swimming area where they have this big rope pylon that floats around," Meier said. "He got out in the swimming area and was in water over his head, holding on to the rope."

Dorner's friends told Meier they saw him struggling, but didn't know he was in trouble until it was too late.

"He told his friends he couldn't swim, and they thought he was joking," Meier said. "Kids are always goofing around, splashing each other and screaming and yelling. When the boys decided there was a problem, they couldn't get to him and he went down."

Meier said the Sheriff's Office responded at 4:45 p.m. Meier, a scuba diver, did the recovery dive for Dorner's body.

He said it's the first Valley County drowning he can remember in his nearly nine years as sheriff.

Meier said Dorner is originally from New York City. He said his mother moved him to Montana public schools to get him away from gangs back home.

"He ended up at Wolf Point and was hanging around here trying to get a job and get ready for the next school year," Meier said. "He wanted to finish in Wolf Point."



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