Teenager Latest to Die in California’s Full, Cold Rivers

FRESNO (AP) — An 18-year-old due to graduate as a high school valedictorian next month is the latest to drown in this year’s unusually full rivers in California.

The Fresno Bee reports teenager Neng Thao drowned Saturday in the San Joaquin River in Fresno, as family members looked on.

Fresno Deputy Fire Chief Todd Tuggle says the San Joaquin River is at its highest level in years this spring, after one of the wettest winters on record in Northern California. The Fresno Bee says at least five people have drowned in the Central Valley’s Tulare County since mid-April.

The National Weather Service in Sacramento warns that melting snow has state rivers running fast and cold.

Thao’s family set up a GoFundMe page, posting that the teen had been accepted to attend the University of California, Berkeley and was planning on becoming a pharmacist and running for office.