Harold R. Elwell, 30, a Glendale firefighter for 21/2 years, drowned while trying to rescue two men who went over the falls in the river just north of Bender Road in Kletzsch Park. The two men, one 20 and the other 21, had been in a rubber raft that capsized when it went over the falls.
Elwell was with two other firefighters in a boat bought for the Glendale Fire Department just months before because boat traffic and accidents on the river had become so common that year.
During the rescue, the Fire Department boat was swamped in about 5 feet of water as the two men were being pulled aboard. Elwell and another firefighter were caught in the backwash behind the falls. The other firefighter managed to free himself of the whirlpool and catch the boat, but Elwell did not.
The same day that Elwell died, a 17-year-old girl drowned in another boating accident about 2 miles downstream.