Meridian teen dies after swimming accident at Lake Cascade in Donnelly

July 26, 2013 

— A 15-year-old Meridian girl, taking part in a cross country running camp, died early this morning at a Boise hospital following a swimming accident Thursday at Lake Cascade.

The girl, whose name has not been released pending notification of next of kin, was underwater for at least 10 minutes, the Valley County Sheriff's Office said. Camp members and bystanders brought her out of the lake and took her to shore.

A camp chaperone who is a nurse administered CPR before the girl was initially taken to McCall Hospital. She was then taken by Life Flight helicopter to St. Alphonsus Medical Center in Boise, where her condition worsened and she died at 1:55 a.m, the sheriff's office said.

"It is tragic when these deaths happen," Sgt. Jason Speer of the Valley County Sheriff's Office said.

Anyone participating in water activities should wear a life jacket, regardless of swimming ability, Speer said.

Thursday evening, Gaelen C. "Connor" Mast, 19, from Kingston, Idaho, drowned in Rose Lake in Couer d'Alene. He was swimming with several friends when he failed to surface. The friends were able to pull him from the water and emergency responders tried to revive him before airlifting him to Kootenai Health, where he later died.

Those accidents came days after four people died in Idaho waterways last weekend and a fifth drowned just across the border in the Snake River in Oregon.

A 13-year-old boy died Sunday outside Ontario after he fell from a railroad trestle into the Snake River while fishing.

Three people died Saturday.

Taylor R. Wood, 23, of Boise died while boogie boarding on the Boise River. Hours later, a Caldwell man swimming in the Snake River with another person drowned. The body of 28-year-old Daniel Bravo-Rodriguez was found Monday morning, about a mile downstream of where he disappeared near Payette's Centennial Park.

Nena Martinez, who was swimming with Bravo-Rodriguez, told police she tried to help him, but the struggling man pulled her under as well. She managed to free herself from his grip, but when she tried to grab him, she was unable to and Bravo-Rodriguez went under.

That same day, a 2-year-old boy drowned in an irrigation ditch Saturday during a family visit to his grandfather's house west of Sugar City. Fire officials said a rescuer pulled the boy from the water, but efforts to resuscitate him failed.

On Sunday near Twin Falls, 42-year-old Chen Peir-Horng was swimming in Dierkes Lake when he went underwater at about 4:30 p.m. Search and rescue teams who were training nearby pulled the man from the lake and began to do CPR. Despite their attempts, Peir-Horng died at a Twin Falls hospital Sunday evening.

Additional details on those drownings, as well as water safety tips, can be found at

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