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Billings man dies in Stillwater River accident

Billings man dies in Stillwater River accident

A 31-year-old Billings man died Sunday afternoon in a boating accident on the Stillwater River after he stopped to try to help other boaters.

Stillwater County Sheriff Cliff Brophy on Monday identified the victim as Jack Bennett.

Brophy said the sheriff's department received a 911 call at 5:09 p.m. reporting that a man was trapped under water about five miles south of Columbus in a stretch of the river known as the Beartooth Drop.

Witnesses told authorities that Bennett, who was paddling a kayak, was trying to help other floaters whose raft had become wrapped around a bridge pylon, Brophy said. Bennett was not part of the float party. No other serious injuries were reported.

Bennett's family members and others at the scene helped retrieve Bennett from the water. Efforts to resuscitate him began immediately and were continued by ambulance workers.

Bennett was pronounced dead at the Stillwater Community Hospital. Brophy said the cause of death was drowning.

Emergency responders included the Stillwater County Sheriff's Office, Columbus Police Department, Columbus Fire and Ambulance and Stillwater County Search and Rescue.



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Federal Court, Yellowtone County Reporter

Federal court and county reporter for The Billings Gazette.

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