A young woman who drowned in the American River when she was swept downstream in the Auburn State Recreation Area has been identified by authorities.
The Placer County Sheriff’s Department identified her as Ashley M. Jenkins, 20, of Antelope.
Mike Schneider, superintendent of the recreation area, said Jenkins and two other young women had crossed the river on foot near the confluence of the north and middle forks of the American River. They made it safely across the first time, but on the return trip to get their belongings a little after 11 a.m. Friday, Jenkins slipped in a knee-deep rapid and was swept downstream.
Firefighters on duty in the area saw Jenkins flailing as she was going under the Highway 49 bridge. After searching the river for about two hours, the woman’s body was recovered about 250 yards from where she went into the water.
Schneider said people need to be aware that water levels fluctuate, and the bottom is uneven, with rocks, tree snags and other debris that can trap people. Even when wading in shallow water, a slip or a trip can prove deadly, he said.