Father drowns saving son on Toutle River

No one was wearing life jackets, according to deputies

TOUTLE, Wash. (KOIN 6) – A 35-year old man drowned Saturday after he jumped in the Toutle River to save his 9-year-old son, according to sheriff deputies.

Benjamin A. Brooks had been underway for about 30 minutes by the time first responders got on scene, Cowlitz County Chief Criminal Deputy Charlie Rosenzweig says. The drowning was reported on Saturday around 3:15 p.m.

Investigators say that Brooks and his family were swimming in the river just east of Toutle when his son began to struggle while swimming. Brooks, his wife and daughter all jumped in the water to help the boy, Rosenzweig said. The family of four struggled to stay afloat, deputies say.

Brooks pushed his son towards the shore, deputies say. The boy’s mother and sister were able to eventually get him to shore.

No one was wearing life jackets, according to deputies.

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