Elk Grove man dies in South Yuba River | TheUnion.com

Elk Grove man dies in South Yuba River

The South Fork Yuba River passes under the 1903 Edwards Crossing bridge in Nevada County.

An Elk Grove man died Tuesday in the South Yuba River after his ankle became stuck between rocks and he apparently drowned, Nevada County officials said.

First-responders pulled the body of Christian Cotter, 23, from the river around 7 p.m. It took two hours to recover Cotter because of the location — about a half mile downstream of the Highway 49 bridge — and the water's speed, officials said.

"He had apparently gone over one of the waterfalls into a pool and became lodged between some rocks," Sheriff Keith Royal said.

Cotter and a friend arrived around 2:30 p.m. at the South Yuba River. At one point his friend realized he hadn't seen Cotter for some time. Authorities then responded, Royal said.

"It appears to be an apparent drowning, but we have to wait for the pathologist," the sheriff said.

A preliminary cause and manner of death is expected within days. A toxicology report will take weeks, he added.

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Officials urged people to use caution when swimming in the river. Lt. Sam Brown said a strong current can push someone against a rock, making it near impossible to escape.

"Right now, the water is moving so rapidly," he said.

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email ariquelmy@theunion.com or call 530-477-4239.

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