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Father drowns trying to save son at Birch Creek Colony

Certainly a story we would rather not hear in the middle of summer.   Pondera County Coroner Ed Erickson confirmed Monday morning that two males drowned Sunday night in an irrigation canal that runs through the Birch Creek Hutterite Colony, west of Valier.

The father and his son were fishing along the canal when the 6-year old boy fell in.  His dad jumped in and tried to save the boy but he too, drowned, in the swift-moving canal.   Pondera County Canal and Reservoir officials said the water was running at approximately 3.4 feet per second, according to Erickson.

The victims were identified as 6-year old Zach Waldner and 38-year old Arnie Waldner.  Erickson said the incident was reported at 8 pm Sunday evening and the bodies were recovered from the Canal, shortly before 9 am Monday morning.

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