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HAMILTON - A 53-year-old Corvallis man died Sunday as the result of rafting accident on the East Fork of the Bitterroot River south of Darby and downstream from the Rocky Knob Lodge.

The victim was David L. Dedmon.

He and his wife, Sharon, reportedly were "sweeping" the river for hazards when their raft was caught in a current created by a tree downed in the river. After being ejected from the raft they floated an undetermined distance before she was pulled from the river by onlookers.

The victim continued down the river before being taken from the river. CPR was administered on the scene and enroute to Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital in Hamilton, where Dedmon was pronounced dead.

Mrs. Dedmon was taken to the same hospital, treated for minor injuries, and released.

According to information from the Ravalli County Sheriff's Office, Dedmon, a former Ravalli County peace officer, was an experienced river guide.

Sheriff Chris Hoffman said the drowning was a painful reminder of how dangerous the river can be during spring runoff.

With temperatures warming, waters in the Bitterroot and its tributaries have begun to rise again and contain large amounts of debris both on and below the surface.

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