West Virginia man drowns in Bitterroot River rafting accident

Posted at 2:16 PM, Jun 25, 2024

HAMILTON — A 76-year-old man died after being thrown from a raft into the Bitterroot River on Monday afternoon.

Ravalli County Sheriff Steve Holton says Roger Lee Booth of Charleston, West Virginia drowned in the incident which happened near Woodside Cutoff.

The accident happened when a raft Booth was fishing from hit a bridge support pillar and overturned, throwing the three people into the river, according to a news release.

Sheriff Holton says first responders reached the victim and provided emergency medical care, but Booth was pronounced dead at the scene.

The two other men thrown from the raft were able to make it to shore safely.

Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks is investigating the accident.

The Ravalli County Sheriff's Office, the Corvallis Volunteer Fire and Quick Response Unit, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Bitterroot Health, and Ravalli County Search and Rescue all responded to the scene.

Sheriff Holton is urging people to be careful on the river which says is filled with obstacles and submerged hazards. There is also a deep and stroking current in the Bitterroot River.