Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Clackamas County READ MORE

Water Rescue Consortium responds to report of three in distress on Clackamas River on Friday; one deceased


Barton Park drowning scene
Click to enlarge.

The Clackamas County Water Rescue Consortium responded to reports of three people in distress on the Clackamas River on Friday. One of the three drowned. Another was transported to the hospital.

Just before 4 p.m. on Friday, June 19, 2020, the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office responded to a 911 call reporting multiple women in distress in the Clackamas River, just upriver from Barton Park.

Upriver from Barton Park, a family was outside their residence when they heard what sounded like someone in distress in the river. When they looked out to the river, they could see multiple women who appeared to be in distress. One was floating face-down in the river.

The women had been part of a larger group floating the river recreationally, and had fallen behind that larger group.

One of the residents called 911 while her husband grabbed a personal floatation device and ran down to help. The husband reached the woman floating face-down in the river -- later identified as Leanna Rae Middleton, 62, of Portland -- and held her head above water for an extended period of time as emergency workers responded to the scene.

Sheriff's Office deputies and Search and Rescue (SAR) Coordinators responded to Barton Park along with the Clackamas County Water Rescue Consortium -- comprising personnel from Clackamas Fire District #1Tualatin Valley Fire & RescueLake Oswego FireAmerican Medical Response, and CCSO's Marine Unit and Dive/Rescue Team. A Life Flight Helicopter deployed to the scene as well.

Rescuers reached the good-samaritan husband and Middleton, and pulled Middleton from the river. Rescuers performed CPR on Middleton for about 30 minutes. Unfortunately, she could not be revived.

Further investigation revealed Middleton had a personal floatation device (PFD) with her on the inner-tube she was using to float down the river, but had not been wearing the PFD.

Two other women from the larger group were also found to be in distress during this call. Rescuers assisted them to safety and provided first aid. One was transported to an area hospital, while the other declined medical attention.

Life Flight deployed to the area, but was not used to transport any patients. However, while overhead, Life Flight did assist rescuers in attempting to locate subjects in distress.

The Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office and the Clackamas County Medical Examiner’s Office are investigating Leanna Middleton's drowning.

Photos from the scene are linked above.


Sgt. Marcus Mendoza
Clackamas County Sheriff's Office
Public Information Unit