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Drowning victim's body recovered

By AMY LINDBLOM

The body of a Chico woman was recovered Saturday, two weeks after she fell into the Middle Fork of the Tuolumne River.

Casey Marie Jackson, 21, a driver for Camp Tawonga, was with friends on her day off work when she slipped on rocks and fell 20 to 30 feet over a waterfall.

The accident occurred in a steep canyon west of Camp Tawonga.

The body was recovered Saturday morning by Tuolumne County Search and Rescue volunteers. Tuolumne County Sheriff's Sgt. Jim Scruggs, who headed the rescue effort, said the recent rainstorms added more water to the river, making rescue operations tricky.

When the volunteers arrived, Jackson's body was clearly visible, but wedged into some rocks, just below the falls, Scruggs said. No divers had to go into the treacherous water.

The accident occurred about 11 a.m. July 19 when Jackson and a friend were sunbathing on rocks near Lower Lower Falls. Jackson was trying to get a better view of a rainbow made by the waterfall mist when she slipped and fell into a rocky pool below, a sheriff's department report said.

The friend, a lifeguard at the camp, saw Jackson laying face down, swirling around in the pool below and jumped into the water to help the drowning woman, but instead hit her head and was just able to get herself out of the water.

The woman hiked out of the steep canyon and back to Camp Tawonga to get help. Search and rescue volunteers looked for Jackson that Saturday and Sunday but never found her body.

An autopsy will be performed to determine if the woman died from the fall or from drowning, Lt. John Steely said this morning.

Contact Amy Lindblom at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it


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