Mom warning others about popular swimming hole

Mom warning others about popular swimming hole »Play Video
What a difference a day makes. Left: Thursday. Right: Friday.

YAMHILL COUNTY, Ore. -- Word travels fast in Yamhill County.

On Thursday a section of the South Yamhill River was packed with swimmers, a day later it was empty.

"It's terrifying. I had to take a break and go have a mom breakdown. It gives me chills just thinking about it -- how close my son came to dying," Alicia Winkler said.

Winkler may be the reason for the deserted beach.

Her son went swimming there earlier this month and started feeling sick that same night.

So his mom took him to Salem Hospital, but he kept getting worse.

"They started seeing in his urine more blood, more blood, more blood," Winkler said.

He was transferred to Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland where she says doctors determined he had a nasty strain of E. coli.

"We just kept on thinking Yamhill River, Yamhill River," Winkler said.

Officials can't say for sure if the water is tainted but they say two other people also got sick. The only thing they all had in common was a swim in the same river.

Health officials will be out soon to pull samples of the water. We should have those results in a few days. In the meantime, they urge everyone to stay out of the river.