River May Have Claimed Another Victim

SPOKANE — It appears the Spokane River may have claimed another victim after witnesses say they saw a woman struggling against the current below the Bowl and Pitcher in Riverside State Park Friday afternoon.

Firefighters used kayaks, boats and a helicopter to find the woman who slipped under the surface near the Devil’s Toenail.

A Spokane mother and daughter heard the woman’s cries for help then got in their car and followed the woman as she floated downstream.

“My mom heard somebody scream and so we pulled over and we got out of the car and we walked over by the cliff and we saw a woman and she screamed help,” Elizabeth Stewart said.

“At first we were gonna call 9-1-1 but it would have taken longer so we just drove back to the ranger station and brought him out here and showed him where it was at,” she added.

Fire crews from nearby Station 16 headed to the river, putting boats in the water to try and locate the woman while a MedStar helicopter flew overhead.

“We’ve got companies covering the river and you can see them respond behind us trying to give this person every possibility for survival that we can,” Spokane Assistant Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer said.

However the woman was not located and the search and rescue was scaled back to a recovery operation. Park Rangers went through Riverside State Park looking for anyone who might be missing from their campsites but do not have any idea who may have ended up in the water.