Accident Database

Report ID# 3795

  • Unknown
  • Hypothermia
  • Cold Water

Accident Description

 Palouse councilwoman dead in kayaking mishap

By Aaron Luna, KXLY4 Reporter

Published On: Nov 22 2013

PALOUSE, Wash. - The search for a missing kayaker in Palouse, Washington is over after police say they found the body of 54-year-old Alison Webb Friday morning. Palouse Police say Webb put her kayak in the water around 2:45 p.m. Thursday. Her body was found approximately two miles down river. Her dog was there when the police showed up still barking and police say it was likely that dog was with her all night long.

In a town of 1,000 people, it's said Alison Webb knew one thousand and one. "She'll be greatly missed around here," said fellow council member Rick Wekenman. Neighbors say the 54-year-old city council member moved to Palouse about three years ago and immediately fit in. She stared working at the local food market and for the last year and a half sat on the city council. "She knew a lot about the people in this town and we just were getting to know here even better and it's just a shame to lose somebody like that," said Wekenman.

Wekenman said Webb was a cancer survivor and when she set her mind to something she did it to the fullest. "She'd taken up this interest in kayaking fairly recently, in the last couple of years," said Wekenman. That interest put her out on the river almost every sunny day, including Thursday when she put her kayak in the water about four miles east of town. By 8 p.m. she was reported missing. A Fairchild rescue helicopter found her upturned kayak Friday morning and her body was 50 yards away, her dog still by her side barking when police arrived.

"It's just a shame to lose somebody to such a tragedy like this," said Wekenman. Police say right now it looks like a tragic accident. People who knew her said at least in this situation, there is a silver lining, she died doing something she loved.

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TEXT ATTACHMENTS Kayaker found dead on Palouse River

Posted by Rich Landers

Spokane, WA Statesman Review

Nov. 22, 2013 A kayaker's body was recovered this morning from the Palouse River, according to the following statement released this afternoon by the Whitman County Sheriff. Alison Webb, 54, who was on the Palouse city council, was found dead early Friday morning, her life apparently claimed by hypothermia after capsizing in the freezing cold.

COLFAX, WA- Authorities have recovered the body of a kayaker who was reported missing late Thursday evening. At approximately 8pm on Thursday evening, Deputies from the Whitman County Sheriff’s Office were notified of an overdue kayaker near the town of Palouse, WA. The kayaker, Allison E Webb, 54, of Palouse, WA, reportedly set out on a late afternoon kayak trip on the Palouse River. When she failed to arrive at her destination, family members became concerned, conducted a brief search and later notified 911.

After Deputies determined that Webb started her float trip near Wellesley Road in Latah County, officials from Idaho were also notified. Due to the extremely cold temperatures search crews from both sides of the border immediately began a ground and aerial search of the river and terrain. Officials from Latah and Whitman Counties searched through the night and into Friday Morning.

At approximately 8:30 Friday morning, search crews from Fairchild Air Force Base (36 Rescue Helicopter) assisting in the effort located the body of a deceased female, later identified as Allison E. Webb. It is believed Webb died after capsizing her kayak and being exposed to the extremely cold overnight temperatures. The exact cause and manner of death will be determined by the Whitman County Coroner’s Office.

Crews from The Latah County Sheriff’s Office, Latah County Search and Rescue, Whitman County Emergency Management, MedStar, Fairchild Air Force Base, Whitman County Sheriff’s Office, Palouse Fire and EMS, Border Patrol, Whitman County Coroner and the American Red Cross all assisted in the search effort.

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