Sheriff: teen played key role in river rescue

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LONGVIEW, Wash. (AP) -- The Cowlitz County sheriff's office says a 16-year-old Longview, Wash., girl played a key role in the rescue of two children at a Columbia River park where a 30-year-old man drowned.

Chief Criminal Deputy Charlie Rosenzweig tells The Daily News (http://bit.ly/o3URtt) that interviews with additional witnesses have brought out new information about Monday's drowning death of Alejandro Vicente Lopez at Willow Grove Park.

The sheriff's office says the Longview man was with his relatives at the beach when he saw two young children in trouble in the water. Although he couldn't swim, he entered the water to help. Rozenzweig says the family spoke little English and it's unclear whether the young girl was Lopez's daughter or niece. Deborah Kastor says her 16-year-old daughter, Mikellby McCarthy, also saw the children struggling, jumped in the water and pulled them to the beach.

The deputy says Lopez's family was shouting that Lopez was still in the water, but due to the language barrier, onlookers didn't immediately understand.

A Cowlitz County dive team found the man's body.

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Information from: The Daily News, http://www.tdn.com