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Deputy saves woman 100 yards off shore in river Saturday

Rescue Truck   Photo:  Wood County (WI) Sheriff's Department
Rescue Truck Photo: Wood County (WI) Sheriff's Department

BIRON, Wis. (WSAU) -- A Wood County law enforcement officer saved a woman struggling to stay afloat in the Wisconsin River this past weekend.

Sheriff Thomas Reichert says Deputy james Pidgeon jumped into the river near Highway 66 and River Road, not far from the Biron Dam Saturday morning. He swam out to assist 26-year-old Crystal Rowland of Rudolph, who had attempted to commit suicide by swallowing pills and jumping in the river.

Pidgeon reached Rowland about 100 yards from shore, and pulled her back to the paramedics that arrived after he entered the water. Rowland was unresponsive when they reached shore.

Rowland was taken to Riverview Hospital in Wisconsin Rapids for treatment. Reichert says he’s not at all surprised that his deputy and former Marine jumped into the river to save her.