Last Wednesday, 18-year-old Jared Brimhall drowned in the San Jacinto River when swimming with his girlfriend. Rescue teams continue to search for Brimhall’s body.
Terrence Morrison was fishing on the river bank and saw Brimhall enter the water to swim with his girlfriend. He said there were signs of trouble right away.
“As he really started laboring, I hit send, 911, tried to get down where I could maybe throw a fishing line, whatever to him, couldn’t,” said Morrison.
“His girlfriend had gathered him up and leaned back with him but he was still fighting the water,” said Morrison. “She couldn’t, she couldn’t hold on. The last thing he had was her leg.”
His girlfriend was picked up by individuals on four-wheelers after safely reaching the shore.
At the time of the incident , 2,010 cubic feet of water (approximately 15 gallons) was flowing out of the dam per second. The following morning it dropped to 420 cubic feet per second.
Lieutenant Brady Fitzgerald, with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, said the speed of the river and the amount of debris floating in it has made it very difficult to search. They are unable to use sonar equipment normally used by search teams because of the large amount of debris that has washed up from the recent rainstorm.
Montgomery County Precinct 4 Swift Water Rescue Team spent the day searching the water and checking the shoreline.
Montgomery County Precinct 1 Lake Patrol Lt. Cade and Vernon Miller flew over the river in a helicopter furnished by local business owner, Jim Morris, and were unable to locate Brimahall.
Thursday afternoon, Montgomery County Detective Kelly Smith flew over the river for approximately an hour in a Texas Department of Public Safety helicopter. The helicopter flew low, almost scraping the surface of the water, but Detective Smith also had no sightings.
Several alligators and snakes were spotted in the water and nearby on Thursday, as close as 100 yards upstream from the search area.
Access to the riverbank is limited as most trails are currently underwater or very muddy with large pools of water.
A Conroe resident flew his drone over the scene, capturing images of the swift-moving river and large amount of debris.
The search is expected to resume Friday. Officials suspect that the victim is being held underwater by debris and the strong current.