Family identifies victim in rafting
accident on the Payette River; 4 others injured
BY NICOLE BLANCHARD, RACHEL ROBERTS, AND JOHN SOWELL, Idaho Statesman
JULY 04, 2019
A 45-year-old Emmett woman who died
Thursday on the Payette River was in a raft that hit something and overturned,
trapping her and a friend underwater, a relative told the Idaho Statesman.
Bill Cannon, an Emmett native who lives
in Connecticut, identified the dead woman Friday afternoon as his niece, Misty
Cannon. She was with a group of four other women who were floating west along a
popular section of the river beneath Black Canyon Dam to the Washington Avenue
Bridge in Emmett at about 3 p.m.
The rafters ran into trouble as they
approached an island in the river, Bill Cannon said. “The raft hit something
and flipped over,” Cannon wrote to a Statesman reporter, saying his account
came from another family member. “They all went into the water and Misty and a
friend were caught on something underneath and trapped underwater.”
Misty Cannon had turned blue by the time
people on the shore got to her, Bill Cannon said. “They freed her and gave her
CPR on the scene, but it was too late,” he wrote. The second woman who was
trapped was freed and taken by a Lifeflight helicopter to an undisclosed
Treasure Valley hospital, Bill Cannon said he was told. He did not know her
condition Friday afternoon.
The three others were taken to Valor
Health hospital in Emmett, according to Gem County, which also confirmed that
one woman was transported by Lifeflight.
The Gem County Sheriff’s Office has not
publicly identified any of the women. A dispatcher told the Statesman on Friday
no further details would be provided at this time. “We were able to determine
there were five patients that had ultimately ended up out of their flotation
devices in the river and in distress,” Mike Knittel of the Emmett Police
Department told KTVB.com on Thursday.
Emmett Police Chief Steve Kunka said
Friday members of his team were at the scene of Thursday’s accident in an
assist role and that all inquiries about the incident should be directed to the
Gem County Sheriff’s Office.
KTVB spoke with 16-year-old Porter Child,
a bystander who tried to assist in the rescue. “This man runs over and he’s on
the phone with 911 and he yells, ‘Somebody go help, this lady is drowning,’ ”
Child told KTVB. “When I got there she was turning blue. My guess is she was
under for 10 or 15 minutes because she died right there on the spot.”
IDAHO STATESMAN: Misty Cannon Martin, a 44-year-old Enumclaw, Washington,
woman who previously lived in Emmett, died on July 4. She was part of a group
of five women rafting and tubing that day. The raft that Martin was in
submerged at Farmers Cooperative Diversion Dam, according to the Emmett
Messenger-Index. Another rafter in the group told the Emmett paper that she saw
Martin and Emmett resident Holly Reed “going under and coming back up.” Porter
Child, 16, told KTVB that he jumped in the river near the Washington Avenue
Bridge to pull Martin out — but she appeared to have been underwater for a
significant amount of time. Another person gave her CPR, but it failed to
revive her. Reed was taken by air ambulance to a Boise hospital and survived
the harrowing float trip.