Northern California man dies in rafting accident on American River near Colfax

A 56-year-old Sacramento man died while rafting on the American River 50 miles north of Sacramento Saturday.

David Wayne Johnson was rafting with two others when the vessel flipped over, according to Cal Fire. All three rafters were not wearing life jackets and were washed down the river below the Iowa Hill Bridge. One victim swam to shore and a woman was rescued shortly after the incident.

A dive team located and rescued the woman, and was forced to suspend the search for Johnson due to “dangerous water levels including class 4 rapids in this section of the river and pitch black light conditions,” Cal Fire reported.

The California Highway Patrol, Cal Fire’s Nevada-Yuba-Placer unit, California State Parks, the Placer County Sheriff and the Colfax Fire Department responded to the incident at the Mineral Bar Campground.

On Sunday, state parks officials found Johnson deceased around upper Lake Clementine, the Placer County Sheriff Department said in a statement.

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