Arrow-right Camera

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Monday, October 14, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Day 54° Clear
News >  Crime/Public Safety

4-year-old boy pulled from Spokane River dies

UPDATED: Tue., July 11, 2017, 11:15 p.m.

Emergency crews responded near the Downriver Disc Golf Course Tuesday evening to search for a missing 4-year-old boy. (KHQ)
Emergency crews responded near the Downriver Disc Golf Course Tuesday evening to search for a missing 4-year-old boy. (KHQ)

A 4-year-old boy died Tuesday evening after he was pulled from the Spokane River and rushed to a hospital.

The boy went missing near the Downriver Disc Golf Course.

The call for help came in shortly after 7 p.m., launching a search by the Spokane Fire Department, the Spokane Police Department, the Spokane Valley Fire Department and at least one helicopter.

Crews located the boy around 8 p.m. and performed CPR before he was taken to a local hospital via ambulance. Police escorted the ambulance to the hospital, blocking cross-traffic as they went.

“He was not breathing and he had no pulse,” Spokane Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer said of the boy’s condition when he was found. “He was transported in critical condition.”

Schaeffer later tweeted that the boy had died.

“Thoughts & prayers for a local family tonight that lost a child and the heroic responders that did everything humanly possible to save him,” Schaeffer wrote.

The boy’s parents told rescuers that they were playing disc golf at the eighth hole when the boy vanished.

“They turned their back just for a second,” Schaeffer said.

When a quick search failed to find the boy, they called 911. He was found about a half a mile downriver and was put in a kayak for the trip to shore and then brought up the embankment using ropes. Schaeffer called the rescue efforts of the firefighters and police officers who worked together to rescue the boy “heroic.”

“Once he was located it was extremely well-coordinated and fast,” he said.

Among those on the rescue team were some rookies on their first day on the job, Schaeffer said.

“There is a lot of emotion with this incident,” he said. “Many of them have 4-year-old kids or have had 4-year-old kids.”

Subscribe to the Morning Review newsletter

Get the day’s top headlines delivered to your inbox every morning by subscribing to our newsletter.

You have been successfully subscribed!
There was a problem subscribing you to the newsletter. Double check your email and try again, or email