By TERESA BELL, kgw.com Staff
GLENWOOD, Wash. A veteran rafting guide drowned, along with one of his customers, when three boats capsized in a remote section of the Klickitat River over the weekend, authorities said.
A Jeff Driver, 50, of White Salmon had a clean safety record and no one had ever died in his care, in the 25 years hed been leading whitewater rafting trips.
But Saturday, Driver was killed, along with 61-year-old Rollin Schimmel of Pendleton.
Investigators said the four rafts Driver was guiding encountered a logjam on the Klickitat River and three of the rafts capsized, spilling everyone into the churning river.
Seventeen rafters were able to swim to shore, two with injuries. The accident happened near the Yakama Indian Nation's fish hatchery.
Klickitat County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Pam Maurer said the first call to the sheriff's office of the capsizings came in at 4:30 p.m. Saturday.
Maurer said the river was running expecially high and fast right now.
Maurer said the river is a popular place for rafting, but because of recent warm and rainy weather, it's also been the site of several accidents this year.
The Coast Guard led the rescue operation in the rugged area 74 miles northeast of Portland.