Hamilton man drowns in Bitterroot River after trying to save dog

Posted at 10:49 AM, Jul 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-17 12:49:04-04

HAMILTON – A Hamilton man drowned last Friday in the Bitterroot River after trying to save a dog.

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

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

The Hamilton Police Department, Ravalli County Sheriff’s Office, and Ravalli County Search and Rescue responded and a Hamilton Police officer recovered Dwigans 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.”