Woman on inner tube drowns in river

coast guard lifesaver

LYONS, Ore. - A Stayton woman drowned Sunday while floating on an inner tube on the North Santiam River.

Authorities identified her as 27-year-old Jessica Lynn Liddell.

According to the Linn County Sheriff's Office, Liddell and two other women were floating down the river together about 2:30 p.m. when they hit some rapids that forced them toward the shore about five miles west of Lyons. Liddell then became caught in logs and debris, and the force of the current sucked her under five feet of water.

The sheriff's office said a rope the group was using to tie the inner tubes together became tangled in the debris and caught around Liddell's right ankle, which likely prevented her from coming back to the surface.

The two other women, Tera Watson of Stayton and Jamie Fish of Portland, were not injured.

Emergency crews responded and recovered Liddell's body about 5 p.m. They had to use a chainsaw to cut through a large log to allow divers to reach the body, the sheriff's office said.