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Search and Rescue recover two bodies inside a submerged vehicle on the Collawash River
On Thursday January 3, 2019, the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue (SAR) team responded to the area of the Ripplebrook Ranger Station, which is approximately 25 miles east of Estacada along HWY 224, on a report of 2 missing adults. The Sheriff’s Office received information that Kevin Shaver and Chase Villarreal had not returned from their trip into East County and were last seen in their red Chevrolet Tahoe. After an extensive search, on January 4, 2019, at approximately 7:30 p.m. searchers located the vehicle fully submerged in the Collawash River. Searchers located a dog along the far bank of the river and were able to rescue the dog on January 4th and then return on January 5th to retrieve the vehicle. On January 5th Marine and Dive Rescue responded and were able to remove the vehicle from the river. Inside the vehicle rescuers found the bodies of Mr. Shaver and Mr. Villarreal. Families of both men have been notified of their deaths.
Investigators believe speed was a factor in the event that led the vehicle to leave the roadway and into the Collawash River. Click on the link below for a time lapse of the recovery of the vehicle which illustrates the complexity of the operation.