Local News

Man pulled from Swift Creek in La Crosse identified

LA CROSSE, WI - La Crosse police have released the name of the swimmer who was pulled from Swift Creek on Tuesday night.

Justin Wright, 20, of Holmen, was swimming with two other people when he became fatigued and went under water and did not come back up.

Police say an autopsy will be conducted through the La Crosse County medical examiner's officer, but foul play is not suspected.



The man who was pulled from Swift Creek after having trouble swimming Tuesday evening has died.

La Crosse police say the man was swimming with two other people near the area of Swift Creek behind 700 Benora Lee Court when he became fatigued. He went under water and did not come back up.

One of the other swimmers called 911. The La Crosse Dive Unit located the man in the area where he was last seen. He was transported by Tri-State Ambulance to a local hospital with life threatening injuries and was later pronounced dead.

No foul play is suspected at this time. An autopsy will be performed through the medical examiner's office.  The victim's name has not been released yet.


Rescue crews were called to a possible drowning Tuesday afternoon near 700 Benora Lee Court, near Gundersen Health System, in La Crosse.

La Crosse police say three people in their 20s—one woman and two men—were swimming in Swift Creek when a man went under water and didn't come up. He was under for at least four minutes before someone called for help.

Rescue crews were able to get the man out of the water and into an ambulance in 22 minutes after the first call went out, thanks to help from witnesses. "Somebody was on location and gave us a pretty good last scene point of where to start our search, and we knew roughly where to start looking," said La Crosse Fire Dept. Division Chief Mark Amann.

Authorities on scene say every second counts in these situations.

Tri-State Ambulance said the victim was transported to the hospital and his condition was life threatening. "The victim was under the water, found in about 12 feet of water beneath a thermocline, so it was a bit cooler water where he was down, which may give him a better chance," said La Crosse Dive Rescue Unit Leader Shawn Mahoney.

Officials said the area did not appear like a dangerous place to swim. The water is low and there is very little current.

The man's name and condition are not being released at this time.

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