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One man drowns after water rescue attempt

Posted at 10:59 PM, Jun 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-30 12:32:06-04

WATERLOO, Neb. (KMTV) — One man drowned Saturday afternoon after attempting to rescue two boys at the Two Rivers State Recreation area.

At 12:10 p.m. Saturday, deputies were dispatched to Two Rivers State Park for a water rescue on the Platte River.

The initial call said one juvenile remained in the water and CPR was being performed on a 41-year-old male, identified as Joshua J. Williams of Sarpy County.

After deputies arrived, they located a juvenile out of the water and another hanging on to branches in the water.

Deputies found Williams in the water and a witness tried performing CPR on him. Deputies and the witness worked to pull Williams out of the water and up on an embankment where they continued CPR and used the AED.

Another citizen on an air boat was flagged down by witnesses and pulled the juvenile out of the water, according to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.

Medics arrived and took over performing CPR on Williams; however, despite all lifesaving efforts, Williams was declared dead at the scene.

The two juveniles were transported to Children's Hospital for observation.

Initial investigation shows the two juveniles were trying to walk out on the sand bar after they saw others on the sand bar. They weren't aware the people on the sand bar arrived there by airboat.

The juveniles were walking out when the water got deeper and one was unable to swim well. Williams went out to assist the juveniles, trying to pull them out to the shore.

Williams held both juveniles up while bobbing under the water. They reached some logs in the river where one juvenile stayed and the other made it to the shore.

Wiliams drowned trying to save the other juvenile.

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office wants to remind people that extreme caution should be used around bodies of water in Douglas County as water levels remain higher than usual due to the spring flood.