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18-year-old drowns in Trinity River

An 18-year-old Fort Worth street vendor died while trying to cross the Trinity River with a friend at Gateway Park at about 6 p.m. Monday.

The man, whose name will not be released until he is identified by the Tarrant County medical examiner, was walking along the south bank of the river on the south end of Gateway Park near Riverbank Road when he and his friend, a 50-year-old co-worker, tried to walk across the river, said battalion chief Fernando Rosas of the Fort Worth Fire Department.

"They were out walking, started to cross and fell into a deeper area," Rosas said.

The 18-year-old couldn't swim and wasn't wearing a flotation device, Rosas said. When his coworker tried to rescue him, the 18-year-old panicked and grabbed at the coworker, almost pulling him in. Rosas said the coworker turned around and when he looked back the man was gone.

The first firefighters on the scene also tried to get the man out of the water, and eventually the swift water rescue team arrived and recovered the man's body, about 40 minutes after the 911 call came in.

Rosas said the man didn't have family in the area and was from Veracruz, Mexico.

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