EUGENE, Ore. — Water rescue crews were called to the Knickerbocker Bike Bridge around 10 a.m. Saturday morning.
A bystander made the call after seeing a raft stuck in a strainer near the I-5 Willamette Bridge construction zone. When crews arrived, they found that the occupant, a man in his sixties, was already dead. He was pulled to the West D Street boat launch dock in Springfield, where he was examined before being taken away.
Springfield Police believe he may have suffered a heart attack while fishing after speaking with some spectators who had spoken with the man beforehand. The spectators said he reported he wasn’t feeling well. While the cause of death may have been a heart attack, officials said folks can still learn about water safety from this situation.
“The construction site is problematic in that it does catch a lot of those type of debris that gets underneath there. There are signs on the river that tell people where to go, but less experienced people at times can’t navigate their way through it,” said Matt Ennis, Eugene Fire Battalion Chief.
The man’s name was not released at the time of the interview as the family had not been notified yet.