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Father drowns while rescuing 9-year-old son in Toutle River

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COWLITZ COUNTY, Wash. — Deputies say a man drowned Saturday on the Toutle River while saving his 9-year-old son.

According to the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office, someone flagged down a firefighter along Spirit Lake Memorial Highway to report there had been a drowning.

Authorities later identified the victim as 35-year-old Benjamin Brooks of Toledo, according to KPTV.

Brooks was swimming in the area with his family when his young son began to struggle in the water. Deputies said Brooks, his wife and daughter all jumped into the water to help the boy. All four struggled to stay afloat in the river.

Investigators said the 9-year-old climbed onto his father who managed to push the boy toward the shore. Brooks’ wife, daughter and son made it out of the water safely, but Benjamin did not.

According to KPTV, none of the family members were wearing life jackets.