The Box Elder County Sheriff’s office has identified the 18-year-old victim of Tuesday night’s drowning near Beaver Dam. Francisco Isreal Hilera of Millville was found by crews around 9:00 p.m. and pronounced dead at the scene.
Chief Deputy Dale Ward said Hilera was floating down the canal with three other individuals when he failed to grab an overhead flume, and continued floating downstream.
“The other three that were in the water reported that as he was going down the canal, it appeared that he was in distress and was having trouble,” said Ward. “He went under the water and they didn’t see him again.”
Other individuals in the group called 911 around 5:50 p.m. Emergency responders from Box Elder County’s Search and Rescue, Scuba Team and Fielding Fire Department were all dispatched to the scene. Deputies were able to divert water out of the canal but it took several hours for the depth to drop.
The initial investigation shows this was an accident and the sheriff’s office is expressing their sympathies and condolences to the Hilera family.
Ward said sheriff’s deputies also remind everyone to stay away from these type of irrigation canals.
“It is very dangerous to be in these canals. The current is very swift, there is an undercurrent. It doesn’t matter how good of a swimmer you are. It doesn’t matter the physical condition you are in. You can get into a bad situation in a hurry.”
The canals are also private property and can lead to criminal trespassing citations.
“We aggressively pursue that. We have in the past and will continue to do so in the future. If you are caught in the canals you will likely be prosecuted for criminal trespassing.”
Hilera’s body was transported to the Utah State Medical Examiner’s Office for examination and to determine the exact cause of death.
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