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Woman dies after falling into a hole near Copper Creek

Sat., May 25, 2013, 9:27 p.m.

A woman in her late 30s apparently drowned after falling in a hole near Copper Creek in the Coeur d’Alene National Forest on Saturday afternoon, the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department reported.

The woman, who has not been identified pending family notification, was looking for frogs with her children in a marshy area when she fell head-first into a hole, Sgt. Ryan Higgins said. The hole was two or three feet in diameter and filled with water, he said.

The incident occurred around 2 p.m. Saturday. Family members were unable to pull the woman out of the hole, which appeared to have been formed by burrowing animals, Higgins said.

“There are holes in that area that are not visible until you step or fall into them,” Higgins said, adding the grass is knee-high in areas.

The department’s Backcountry Unit was in the area and was flagged down by a member of the hiking party. Deputies used an ATV to reach the woman, but were also unable to pull her out. Kootenai County Fire & Rescue extricated her and she was pronounced dead at the scene, Higgins said. The official cause of death has not been determined, but Higgins said suffocation is likely.


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