Coralville man drowned in the Iowa River after helping rescue 8-year-old child in Johnson County

A Coralville man drowned in the Iowa River after jumping in to save an 8-year-old child on Friday evening.
Published: Aug. 6, 2022 at 12:42 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - At 6:07 p.m. on Friday the Joint Emergency Communication Center got a report of a possible drowning in the Iowa River at 6501 River Junction Road Southeast, which is located in rural Johnson County. At the scene, law enforcement learned that an adult male was missing after he rescued an 8-year-old child. Witnesses performed CPR on the child who was later taken to University of Iowa Hospitals. At 7:10 p.m. the adult male’s body was found dead following the recovery operation.

Bystanders say that the 8-year-old child went into the river and struggled. The adult male swam into the river and attempted to save the child. A kayaker was able to help, saving the child from the river. But the man sank below the water. The kayaker and another person searched for the man, but couldn’t find him.

The drowned man has been identified as 42-year-old Wegayewu Faris from Coralville, Iowa. Faris and the rescued child are not related and were visiting the park with separate families.

Wegayewu Faris, 42, of Coralville.
Wegayewu Faris, 42, of Coralville.(Courtesy: Iowa City Community School District)

The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident. The Johnson County Medical Examiner, Johnson County Conservation, Johnson County Emergency Management, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Iowa State Patrol, Hills Fire Department, Lone Tree Fire Department helped the Sheriff’s Office at the scene.

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