Toledo Man, 20, Drowns in Chehalis River on Friday Evening


A 20-year-old Toledo man drowned in the Chehalis River on Friday afternoon near the railroad trestle on the Willapa Hills Trail off Highway 603.

According to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office, at about 3:54 p.m. on Friday, deputies were dispatched to the 100 block of Highway 603 for a reported drowning. Lewis County Fire District 6 was also among the agencies that responded to the call.

“Deputies responded and learned a 20-year-old Toledo male was swimming with friends and tried crossing the river to join them when he went under. He was able to be located and removed from the water by a member of the public after being underwater for several minutes,” said Field Operations Bureau Chief Dusty Breen on Friday night.

Life-saving efforts were taken by responders, Breen said, but the young man could not be resuscitated.

Rodney Martinez, a man leaving the area on Friday evening, said he attempted to jump in after the young man, but estimated he was underwater for 12 minutes before being brought back to the surface.

Members of the victim's family identified him on social media Friday. The Chronicle will release the victim's name when it is released by the Lewis County Coroner's Office.