Drowning in Amite River at Magnolia Bridge

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It is difficult to balance the desire to keep Central informed, with the desire to be compassionate.  This story will eventually be about the dangers of the Amita and Comite rivers, and about the capabilities of our local EMS and Sheriff's departments.  For now, however, know that a 20 year old father lost his life Saturday evening in the Amite River at Magnolia Bridge.

The Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office reports the following:

On May 22, 2010 at approximately 5:00pm, LPSO received a call of a drowning at Magnolia Beach in Watson, Louisiana.

After speaking with witnesses, Deputies learned that Jose Ricardo Hernandez Chevez, a 20-year-old Hispanic Male from Denham Springs, was fishing with his 6-year-old son when the boy went into the river to retrieve his fishing pole and got caught in the current.

Jose went in after the boy, getting him to safety before he went under the water and drowned.

LPSO, EBRSO, District 5 Fire Department, District 4 Fire Department, Central Fire Department, Louisiana State Police, and Killian Search and Rescue searched the river for several hours, having to stop the search at dark.

District 5 Fire Department remained on scene all night to secure the scene.

Rescuers resumed the search this morning and were able to recover the body of Jose Chevez at approximately 6:53am.