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CANAL NEAR ALPINE CLAIMS BOY, WOULD-BE RESCUER

SHARE CANAL NEAR ALPINE CLAIMS BOY, WOULD-BE RESCUER

A Highland man died Wednesday attempting to rescue a 10-year-old boy from an irrigation canal near Alpine, but the boy later died.

Also Wednesday, a Sandy woman is believed dead after slipping into Little Cottonwood Creek. The woman's drowning marks the fourth such incident in that canyon in less than a week.John C. Whipple, 38, a Utah County contractor, died Wednesday after he jumped into an irrigation canal to rescue a boy and became entangled in debris. The man's death marked the third water rescue involving the canal and the first fatality there this year.

Whipple spotted 10-year-old Eric Larsen, also of Highland, who was attending the birthday party of Whipple's son, slip into the canal about 9 p.m. Larsen had been playing on the bank, said Kim Collins, an investigator with the Alpine-Highland Police Department.

Whipple was transported by ambulance to American Fork Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 10:55 p.m. Wednesday.

An Alpine police officer rescued the boy from the water. He was taken to Primary Children's Medical Center via helicopter. He died at 5:30 a.m. Thursday.

In Salt Lake County, search and rescue teams combed the banks of Little Cottonwood Creek after tourists saw a woman swept away by the icy water less than 150 yards downstream from where a Murray couple's car plunged into the creek Sunday.

Rescue teams scoured the creek for Jan Schneider, 40, missing since about 5 p.m. Witnesses said she was swept downstream by the swift water a half-mile above the Wasatch Resort, according to Salt Lake County deputy sheriff Rod Norton.

"She (Schneider) was seen sitting on the bank of the creek by two tourists from Texas," Norton said. "The victim commented to the tourists on how fast the creek was moving, after which the tourists returned to their conversations among themselves. The tourists glanced toward the creek by chance to see the woman struggling in the water while being swept downstream."

Rescue workers set up grids as far downstream as La Caille at Quail Run, 9565 S. Wasatch Blvd. Dogs caught the scent of the missing woman from her white sweater and paperback left behind on the creek bank.

Lights from county fire engines enabled search efforts to continue long after dark Wednesday.

Norton said the incident was the latest of several water accidents in Little and Big Cottonwood canyons during the past week.

On Sunday, Brett and Kristie Switzer Ekberg, 23 and 21 respectively, of Murray, died after their car skidded into Little Cottonwood Creek.

A monthlong search for the body of Roy Allen Memmott, 37, Mid-vale, ended Tuesday night when hikers discovered his body wrapped around a tree in Big Cottonwood Creek.

Search efforts continue for Kerri Schiffman, 36, Midvale, who disappeared Saturday after partying with friends along the banks of Little Cottonwood Creek.

Staff writers Claudia Argueta, Douglas D. Palmer and Laura Andersen Callister contributed to this article.