Minden woman dies after rescue from Upper Truckee River in South Lake Tahoe
A woman who was rescued from the Upper Truckee River after falling off her paddleboard in South Lake Tahoe has died.
Stephanie Waggoner, 49, died June 9, around two days after she was pulled from the river. An official cause of death will likely be released Tuesday or Wednesday, according to Justin Norton, administrative assistant with the Washoe County Regional Medical Examiner’s Office.
Waggoner, a resident of Minden, Nevada, was paddleboarding with friends on the Upper Truckee River Wednesday, June 7.
She hit a downed tree and was knocked off her board near the U.S. 50 bridge, South Lake Tahoe Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Tim Spencer told the Tribune at the time. Waggoner was tethered to the paddleboard and started to drown.
A responding police officer and a bystander helped pull her from the river. When other responders arrived on the scene they initially thought two people had fallen into the frigid waterway, but the other person turned out to be the bystander who aided the officer in bringing Waggoner to the river bank, South Lake Tahoe police Lt. Shannon Laney told the Tribune Monday. Laney added that Waggoner’s friends appeared to be OK at the time.
Waggoner was transported to Barton Memorial Hospital and then flown to Renown Health in Reno.
The Upper Truckee River, which flows from Alpine County to Lake Tahoe, is one of many waterways surging in the Sierra Nevada after a drought-busting winter. SLTFR’s Spencer, speaking with the Tribune on June 7, said people should think twice before heading out on the river, which is flowing much stronger than in recent years.
“You have to be super, super careful … this time of year we have extremely cold water and very high flow rates.”