Woman who drowned in Trinity River identified

Posted Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013  Print Reprints
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FORT WORTH -- The woman who fell and drowned in the Trinity River Wednesday afternoon has been identified as Brandy Johnson, 19, of Fort Worth.

The Tarrant County medical examiner said Johnson died after falling off a low-water dam, and said her death was an accident.

The drowning occurred about 1 p.m. near the dam on the Clear Fork just north of Interstate 30 between Trinity Park on the west bank and a cluster of Pappas' restaurants and office buildings on the east bank.

"In the past several years, there have been drownings and rescues at this location from people crossing the chute that allows water through the dam," Fire Department spokesman Tim Hardeman said Wednesday. "But the circumstances leading to this person being in the water -- we don't know."

Workers in upper levels of an office building facing the river on Parkview Drive heard yelling about 1 p.m. and then saw someone in the water, Hardeman said.

"They came down to the river after calling 911, but did not see anyone," Hardeman said.

The fire department dive team searched for about 20 minutes before finding Johnson's body about 2 p.m. in about 12 feet of water in the middle of the river.

The body was about 100 feet downstream from the low-water dam, Hardeman said.

River water temperatures aren't monitored, Chad Lorance, spokesman for the Tarrant Regional Water District, said. But about that time, Eagle Mountain Lake was 37 degrees at the surface -- cold enough to cause deadly hypothermia.

Warning signs are posted on low-water dams, which are used by park visitors and anglers who like to fish from them. There are about 15 of the dams on the Trinity in Fort Worth, Lorance said.

The structures aid flood control and also help catch silt that is later removed from the river, he said. Chutes have been cut into them to allow canoes and kayaks to pass over them.

Staff writer Bill Miller contributed to this report.

Domingo Ramirez Jr.,

817-390-7763

Twitter: @mingoramirezjr

2500 block of Parkview Drive, Fort Worth, TX
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