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Montana man identified as victim who drowned trying to save his dog

Posted at 8:17 PM, Jul 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-16 22:18:03-04
Jeffrey Thomas Dwigans, 57, of Hamilton drowned in the Bitterroot River while trying to save his dog on 7.12.19. (Kent Leutzen/MTN News photo)

HAMILTON – Authorities have released the name of a Hamilton man who drowned in the Bitterroot River on Friday.

Ravalli County Sheriff and Coroner Steve Holton says that Jeffrey Thomas Dwigans, 57, of Hamilton, was the victim of an accidental drowning that occurred in the Bitterroot River west of Hamilton on Friday afternoon.

The victim entered the water in an attempt to save his dog near a diversion dam and was unable to recover to the bank, according to Sheriff Holton.

The Hamilton Police Department, Ravalli County Sheriff’s Office and Ravalli County Search and Rescue volunteers responded to the scene and a Hamilton Police officer recovered the body from the water.

“This incident is a sad reminder of just how dangerous the Bitterroot River can be, particularly around the diversion dams,” Sheriff Holton said. “The river is also full of snags, obstructions, and changing courses.”