8-Year-Old Drowns in Sacramento River Soon After Arriving, Says Witness

SACRAMENTO – A family was devastated Friday evening while on the banks of the Sacramento River after an 8-year-old drowned near where Freeport and Cosumnes River Boulevards meet.

Connie Garza called 911 trying to get help for the 8-year-old once she realized he was in trouble around 5 p.m.  She'd been out fishing all day near where Cosumnes River Boulevard meets Freeport at the river. Garza spotted the children arrive just 10 minutes before tragedy struck.

"The little girl...the oldest one. She didn't even want to get in the water. She stood up here for a while with the little dog and then went down. But when she was crying for her brother I went to comfort her, and she was saying ‘I just want my brother’ and she says, ‘that's why I didn't want to come here’. And she didn't want her little brother to get in. She told him not to and they still went in," Garza.

Asst. Chief Mike Taylor of the Sacramento City Fire Department says that "the river looks very nice right now, but the current is very strong, especially underneath the water. It's cold. And our biggest message out there is ‘if you're gonna get in the water, have a life jacket.’"

After boat crews turned up nothing, dive teams were called out to search a section of the river, 10 feet out, where it drops from standing depth to 11 feet and then quickly to much more.

"It's ugly. It's terrible. I feel really bad for them... especially for the older little girl who was crying for her brother," stated Garza.